A New Perspective on Energy Transitions

ReSET aims to conceptualise how investments in renewable energy can strengthen justice priorities across diverse global contexts. Our research, across country contexts from the Netherlands, India, Germany and South Africa.

We suggest that a more sustainable and just world is only possible if we can envision how to get there. We believe that the time has come to understand ‘how’ a just energy transition can take place in practice. In all our activities the ‘work’ of agents of change to change is key, which we call ‘institutional work’.

To achieve the goals and unlock shared value we work with critical agents of change, including transnational investors, social movements, and local initiatives, to investigate the ‘institutional work’ and policy rules that enable or undermine this potential.

Our Conceptual Framework
The Triple Re-Cycle

We see institutional work as actively creating, adjusting or maintaining policy rules that might ensure that investments in renewable energy infrastructure also deliver positive justice outcomes in society. We have developed a practical framework to study this institutional work, which we call the triple re-cycle. In this framework we make a distinction between three ‘re’s’ that feed into each other: Reimagine, Recode, Reconfigure.

i) Reconfiguring energy infrastructures:
Realizing just energy transitions requires hard work. In this project we develop a practical framework to investigate this work, which we call the triple re-cycle. This framework distinguishes between three domains of ‘institutional work’: Reimagining, Recoding, Reconfiguring. The triple re-cycle can be used in research and practice to identify specific effects that bolster the production of positive justice outcomes, and negative evaporative effects that undermine this potential.

ii) Reimagining energy futures:
Refers to stabilizing, displacing and transforming existing imaginaries, which influences the direction and outcome of energy transitions

iii) Recoding policy rules:
Refers to transforming the rule sets, artefacts, and instruments that make up the institutional structures that guide energy transitions

How Does Our Team Work?

ReSET aims to develop images of just, equitable and desirable energy futures together with practical ideas about how to achieve these. We see this as a critical component of the ‘institutional work’ involved in strengthening the justice outcomes of the unfolding energy transition. Actively engaging with possible and desirable images of the future, is a technique we call ‘futuring’, and it is central to our transdisciplinary research approach. For our project, this means we work in interdisciplinary teams together with societal stakeholders. Through this. ReSET seeks to foster mutual learning across four global contexts with a particular focus on India, the Netherlands, Germany and South Africa.

How our collaboration works

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