Call for chapter proposals: Mobilising multi-scalar energy sector transformations through solution-oriented research on systemic solar adoption

Siddharth Sareen's picture
Call for Papers
August 11, 2017 to August 25, 2017
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Environmental History / Studies, Geography, Social Sciences

Call for chapter contributions for a widely-accessible book requested by a leading academic publisher

Interested researchers are requested to read the abstract for this upcoming short book below. If you have a relevant contribution to make within the indicated timeline, please follow instructions closely and submit an extended chapter abstract to latest by Friday 25th August 2017. This call is based on an expression of interest by a top publishing house in relation with an upcoming session at the 7th International Conference on Sustainability Science in Stockholm on the same date: see Some speakers have already committed to contributing chapters. Space is available for 2-4 more submissions based on sufficiently high quality and relevance. Decisions will be communicated by Friday 1st September 2017 and selected chapters will be due for submission by Friday 15th December 2017. The book editor is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Geography, University of Bergen, Norway.

Book abstract: Mobilising multi-scalar energy sector transformations through solution-oriented research on systemic solar adoption

An increased understanding of the dynamics of local shifts towards solar energy is crucial for influencing energy sector trajectories globally. These must be understood in the context of multiple regional political economies and emerging socio-technical transitions. The rising affordability of solar technologies coupled with recently incremental divestment from thermal energy in the form of both oil and coal makes such shifts increasingly relevant and feasible, but this area of research and practice is still in its infancy. The contributors to this book represent a diversity of empirical, conceptual and methodological approaches to how specific distributed solar energy solutions map on to clean and inclusive energy futures (or not). At the same time, we share a common focus on implications for multi-scalar transformations. How local empirical knowledge can be transferred across spatial contexts, how systemic analyses of structural resistance can inform attempts at transformation, how private- and public-sector ideologies and approaches can interface and interlock in constructive ways that move beyond established, entrenched practices, and how supply- and demand-side concerns can be simultaneously negotiated by leveraging strategies for public engagement: the intent to address these and similar issues informs our approach to unpacking the mobilisation of sectoral socio-technical transformation through solar energy uptake in multiple current forms across space and place. Informed by operational realities and political economic drivers, we seek to build on a diverse set of recent conceptual groundings to generate a robust way forward for solution-oriented, but at the same time critical, researchers who wish to mobilise sustainable energy futures premised on the widespread adoption of solar solutions in a manner cognisant of both enabling and constraining factors.

The book brings together insights from interdisciplinary research on the scope for solar energy solutions to decentralise control within bureaucratic, large-scale sectors that have historically been characterised by a lack of downward accountability and institutional rigidity, with hands-on experiences from multi-scalar solar energy projects in both the Global North and Global South. Topics cutting across chapters include: reflections on multi-scalar attempts at systemic solar energy solution adoption with an emphasis on identifying constraints; a best practice catalogue with researchers who have collaborated closely with specific industry projects over time pinpointing various enabling factors; and a mapping of generic institutions in key regulatory and transformational roles based on engagement with multiple empirical contexts. A priority is to anticipate common ground and challenge unquestioningly-held assumptions based on other authors’ involvement at other scales or with other parts of the energy sector (generation, transmission and distribution) in relation to proposed systemic solar energy solutions. The key focus is to bring critical knowledge on board towards a transformative set of practices for the energy sector, framed within the premise that such an understanding requires exchange between academics and practitioners. 

Chapter abstract submission format

Specify a chapter title and a 200 word chapter abstract in a single paragraph. This should explain the basic features of the chapter in relation to the call. We are keen to ensure policy relevance and maximise impact for the systemic adoption of multi-scalar solar energy projects in a manner that contributes to energy sector transformations towards sustainability but informed by a critical lens. Thus both enabling and constraining factors are of interest, and attention to contextual specificity must be complemented by detailing of general implications for solar uptake stemming from any empirical work.

Additionally, using approximately 150 more words, outline section headings including any subheads, with 1-2 sentences under each section. This should furnish an overview of the chapter structure that corresponds with the explanation provided above regarding its thematic and substantive coverage. Lastly, mention all authors and current institutional affiliations, including a link to any available professional webpage. For instance: Siddharth Sareen, Postdoctoral research fellow, Department of Geography, University of Bergen.

Contact Info: 

Siddharth Sareen

Postdoctoral research fellow

Department of Geography

University of Bergen

Contact Email: