Aligning technological, economic and governmental factors in regional energy transition processes
Integrated Research on Energy, Environment and Society (IREES), University of Groningen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Supervisors: Prof Klaus Hubacek, Dr Henny J. van der Windt
Bachelor of Social Science in International Relations & Philosophy- University of Cape Town- 2014- Thesis: African Regional Integration
Postgraduate Degree in Social Sciences – University of Cape Town- 2015- Thesis: Development Aid to Sustainable Energy
Master of Advance International Studies in Economics, Politics, Law and History, Diplomatic Academy of Vienna and University of Vienna- 2017- Thesis: Establishing a Regulatory Framework for the Sustainable Development Goals
Summary PhD project
This research will address questions related to this issue: how can new developments at local levels be transformed to transitions at regional – and eventually- national levels and vice versa? What are key factors for transformation, in particular economic, governance and technological factors at various spatial and governmental levels? The research will take the Multilevel Perspective for transition as a heuristic framework to identify key factors at different levels and relevant dynamics and relationships. It will study how in new innovation processes, including municipalities, companies, cooperative citizens organizations, it is tried to develop new solutions, such as district heating systems at the level of a neighborhood, small local and regional wind parks and regional smart integrated and storage systems. It will be explored how these so-called niche innovations function, nurture and eventually developed into building blocks for energy configurations at higher levels such as cities, regions or provinces. To specify and enrich this framework other approaches will be applied. The Social- Ecological System approach will be used to identify physical and regulatory frameworks and connections between different levels of the energy system. The stage model for regional energy systems, developed at the University of Oldenburg enables to identify different phases of the social-technological innovation process. The aim is to apply this models to different case studies, closely connected to ongoing projects. One project is the so-called Buurtwarmte project, which aims to study and support district heating systems in the urban environment. The other project is the ESTRAC project, which aims to develop and apply tools for regional energy transitions. Each case will include study of the developments of the related RES-region. Related to these projects, four to five cases will be studied to be able to understand socio- technological innovations and their potential to grow and to modify or transform existing configurations.