Shayan Shokrgozar joins CET
Shokrgozar is our new PhD on the ASSET project and will research the governance of multi-scalar solar energy transitions in India.
In August CET got a new face: Shayan Shokrgozar (27) moved from Oslo to Bergen with a fresh MPhil from the Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM), UiO, to start their PhD.
The politics of solar power
The working title of Shokrgozar’s PhD is The Governance of Solar Energy in India: An Examination of Development, Climate Change Mitigation, and Living the Good Life in Rajasthan. It is part of the ASSET project, which researches how accountability relations affect rapid energy transitions in financially constrained contexts.
Through their research, Shokrgozar aims to understand how the governance of solar power enables or constrains rapid lower-carbon energy infrastructure rollout at various scales. They are especially interested in the justice implications of utility-scale projects as opposed to those of community-scale projects in Rajasthan that rely on local knowledge.
- They are building the largest solar project in the world in Rajasthan, called the Bhadla Solar project. There are, at the same time, community-scale projects such as the local barefoot college working on empowering women and implementing community-scale projects using local knowledge. But because there are economic concessions provided to large players and there are not as many policy instruments to support small-scale decentralized solar projects, these projects are side-lined through competitive disadvantages. At ASSET, our team is interested in exploring the justice and accountability relations of such multi-scalar projects.
Shokrgozar also seeks to explore topics such as Convivial Technologies and concepts such as Decent Living Energy to critically engage with the imperative of growth while drawing inspiration from the post-development school.
Social and political psychology
Shokrgozar grew up in Teheran, Iran and moved to the U.S. in their teens to attend the United World College (UWC) and continued their education in the U.S. afterwards. At the College of Idaho, they majored in psychology and minored in philosophy, speech rhetoric, and human biology. They completed fellowships at Utrecht University and Washington University in St. Louis and went on a student exchange to Linköping University in Sweden during their bachelor’s degree.
- That’s when I decided to do my Master in a Nordic Country.
For their master thesis, Shokrgozar did fieldwork at Storheia and Roan wind projects, exploring the implications of wind energy for South Sami reindeer herders and rural residents in the Fosen peninsula. As with their PhD it entailed studying issues on the implications of energy infrastructure for the lived experiences of people.