Benjamin K. Sovacool

Title: Decarbonisation and its discontents: A critical justice perspective on four low-carbon transitions

Biography

Dr. Benjamin K. Sovacool is a Professor of Energy Policy at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex Business School in the United Kingdom.  There he serves as Director of the Sussex Energy Group. He is also University Distinguished Professor of Business & Social Sciences at Aarhus University in Denmark. Professor Sovacool works as a researcher and consultant on issues pertaining to energy policy, energy justice, energy security, climate change mitigation, and climate change adaptation.  More specifically, his research focuses on renewable energy and energy efficiency, the politics of large-scale energy infrastructure, the ethics, and morality of energy decisions, designing public policy to improve energy security and access to electricity, and building adaptive capacity to the consequences of climate change. His research has been endorsed by U.S. President Bill Clinton, the Prime Minister of Norway Gro Harlem Brundtland, and the late Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom, among others.  He is a Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), due to be published in 2022, and an Advisor on Energy to the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation in Brussels, Belgium. He has played a leadership role in winning collaborative research grants worth more than $28.2 million in directly managed funds, including those from the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. National Science Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program of Denmark, the Danish Council for Independent Research, the European Commission, and the European Research Council.  In the United Kingdom, he has served as a Principal Investigator on projects funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, Natural Environment Research Council, and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.  He is the recipient of multiple national and international awards and honors, including the “Distinguished Graduate Alumni Achievement Award” from his Alma Mater Virginia Tech, the 2019 USERN Prize for his work on “Social Justice in an Era of Climate Change and Energy Scarcity,” the “Dedication to Justice Award” given by the American Bar Association, and a “Distinguished Visiting Energy Professorship” at the Environmental Law Center at Vermont Law School.  With much coverage of his work in the international news media, he is one of the most highly cited global researchers on issues bearing on controversies in energy and climate policy. 

Research Interest

Renewable energy and energy efficiency, The politics of large-scale energy infrastructure, The ethics and morality of energy decisions, Designing public policy

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