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Fair Energy Transition Webinar Series – Webinar 4 – Dr. Jesse Hoffman

January 27, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The last Thursday of each month between 16h and 17h (Dutch time; UTC+01:00), we invite a speaker to present their work on the fair energy transition.

This month Dr. Jesse Hoffman will share some of his work with us.

He will share some of his work in a presentation entitled: Working to align energy transitions and social equity.


Recent academic evidence suggests that, in contrast to what is often thought, the introduction of renewable energy infrastructures often leads to negative, not positive, social equity outcomes. Research demonstrates, for example, how renewable energy infrastructures are often again built as mega-projects, once more concentrating power in the hands of a few, and missing opportunities to meaningfully engage local communities. Against this background, this presentation will zoom in on the way in which policy arrangements mediate the social equity outcomes of energy transitions; in which way policy processes ‘bolster’ social equity outcomes, and how they may ‘evaporate’ this potential. Theoretically, it will discuss the domains of ‘institutional work’ involved in giving direction to the energy transition – introducing the ‘triple re-cycle’ framework. Empirically, it will explore the similarities in the policy dynamics around renewable energy infrastructures in the Netherlands, Germany, India and South Africa. In doing so, it will argue that a particular way of organizing and financing renewable energy has emerged, supported by specific policy instruments. 

Bio Dr. Jesse Hoffman:

Jesse Hoffman is assistant professor at the Urban Futures Studio ( Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University). He is a political scientists interested in improving public debate and decision making around climate change, with a specific focus on social equity. By means of transdisciplinary approaches, he aims to connect research and education to societal processes in a generative way. Jesse is the project leader of an international consortium called Reconfiguring Energy for Social Equity (ReSET), which investigates how investments in renewable energy can be connected to social equity outcomes. The consortium consists of research teams in South Africa, Germany, India and the Netherlands. As a part of this research, Jesse also leads a research project on the implications of the Corona pandemic for just energy transitions in close collaboration with international development banks, called Reconfiguring Energy for Post-Covid Development (ReCODE). Together with PhD student Irene Bronsvoort, he investigates how the energy transition can fuel citizen engagement in a positive way. For this project they produced a documentary about Jesse’s neighborhood in Rotterdam (online later this year, with subs). The trailer (in Dutch) can be watched here: https://vimeo.com/657810974. In 2021, Jesse and his colleagues were awarded the second price of the Higher Education Premium, the most prestigious academic education award in the Netherlands. For more information, see his profile here: https://www.uu.nl/staff/JGHoffman

You can join the webinar by clicking here.