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The political economy of energy transitions

Some drivers of energy transitions are techno-economic and socio-technical, but they are often overwhelmingly political economic.

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Siddharth Sareen

Some drivers of energy transitions are techno-economic and socio-technical, but they are often overwhelmingly political economic. The political economy of energy transitions has been relatively under-researched, and the implications of recent attention to it have yet to be absorbed into overall scholarship within the timely energy transitions focus.

This seminar will draw on several recent publications that aim to evidence and consolidate this argument. The empirical focus is the electricity distribution sector at the state level in India. The landmark book ‘Mapping Power: The Political Economy of Electricity in India’s States’ has just been published by Oxford University Press. It maps 15 contrasting trajectories over the past quarter century. Along with two chapters in this edited volume, the speaker has published two working papers as part of a series by the Regulatory Assistance Project (USA) and the Centre for Policy Research (India), and two articles in the prominent journal Energy Research and Social Science. One of the latter is co-authored by Prof. Sunila Kale, who has done seminal work on energy infrastructure in India, and hosted the speaker as a Visiting Scholar at the University of Washington-Seattle.

Dr. Siddharth Sareen is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Geography and the Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation, and a researcher at the Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, at the University of Bergen. He researches the governance of energy transitions and has a current interest in developing an analytical approach centred on accountability and legitimacy. See an open call for a special issue of Global Transitions that he is co-editing on this emerging theme. 

The meeting will be held in the Helland-Hansen meeting room at the Geophysical Institute, Allegaten 70, from 12:15 to 13:00 (we open the doors at 12:00). The meeting is free and open for all interested, so bring your lunch and join for an interesting presentation and discussion.

 

Published work on the seminar theme:

Articles:

Book chapters:

Working papers:


Blog post:

 

Copies of any of the above are available upon request from Siddharth.Sareen@uib.no