Students in my laboratory are conducting research about the governance and policy dimensions of energy and sustainability challenges using a mixture of qualitative and quantitative techniques from the social sciences. Students learn to integrate empirical research with theoretical frameworks from a variety of fields such as sustainability transitions, innovation studies and political science. Current students are currently working on topics related to electric mobility, energy transitions, smart cities, hydrogen, the phase-out of coal power and unsustainable technologies and urban sustainability.
Self-financed students interested in studying these topics at a PhD level starting in April 2023 should contact me.
Laura M. CIDRÁS, Doctoral Candidate (Joined April 2023)
Laura is currently researching the strategies employed by cities to phase-out carbon-intensive technologies and practices.
Cities are well known areas of climate innovation, and in recent years many of them are attempting to phase-out fossil fuels (natural gas, coal and oil) and associated technologies (gasoline vehicles, fossil-fuel-based heating systems, etc.). However, while literature has extensively looked at the role of cities in climate governance and innovation, it has hardly looked at their role in phase-out and deliberate decline of carbon-intensive technologies and practices. To address this gap in knowledge, this study will employ both qualitative and quantitative methods, as well as the collection and analysis of data from a macro-level and a micro-level perspective. It is anticipated that this study will help to understand 1) what policies are being used, as well as what mechanisms are inducing these, and 2) how these policies work and what are the enabling conditions for these to be implemented.
Jordan Carlson – JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow (Joined Nov 2022)
Jordan is currently researching the decarbonisation implications of different proposed hydrogen (including ammonia) supply pathways for Japan’s future energy mix. The early phases of this research have focused on developing a framework or understanding the risks posed to successful energy system decarbonisation from hydrogen produced from different primary energy sources. Applications of this framework to case study countries will help to understand the viability of long-term hydrogen use for decarbonisation in priority areas of the energy system.
Jordan completed his degrees in his homeland, Canada, with a BSc in physics (UNBC), a Masters in Environmental Studies (Dalhousie), and a PhD in Geography (Queen’s). His past research has investigated tidal energy development policy in Nova Scotia, as well as the potential for tidal and other renewable energy technologies to contribute to energy transitions in off-grid communities in the Inuit lands of Nunatsiavut. As an energy geographer, Jordan takes a holistic approach to considering energy and sustainability issues to consider pathways towards societal decarbonisation and energy transitions.
Roma KANDPAL, Doctoral Candidate (Joined October 2022)
Roma is currently researching on the policies and innovation system for electric vehicle diffusion in India. India is an emerging market with the challenges of weak governance, lacking infrastructure and diversity in socio-economic factors. This, associated with the increasing number of on-road vehicles makes it an interesting research area for policy analysis. The focus of the research is on using mixed methods to analyse the policies and address the gaps at multiple levels of governance.
She has previously worked as a Data Analyst for FedEx Express and as Application Analyst for Accenture in India.
私は、多くの企業や団体が研究・開発を進めている次世代モビリティと最先端な技術から離れた位置にいる高齢者を調査し、相反する２つのコンテンツがどこまで融合し、合致できるものになるのかを研究する。現在のモビリティでは、ただ単に人を輸送する役割のみを担っており、必ずしも利用者に寄り添ったビジネスやサービスを提供できているとは言いがたい。これは、モビリティがハード的な役割のみを提供しており、必要な場所に必要なタイミングで輸送するなどソフト的な役割ができておらず、ニーズにマッチしていないためだと考えている。そこには、人を輸送するだけでなく、＋αの機能が求められている。世界では、Mobility as a Service（MaaS）やCASE（Connected、Autonomous、Shared & Services、Electric）の取り組みが進められている。日本においても、日本版MaaSの取り組みが始まり各地域で実証実験を行われている。一方で、日本が直面している高齢化社会で、高齢者が移動手段に抱えている問題は数多く、研究されている。しかし、こうした問題は単独で研究されていることが多く、次世代モビリティの側面とともに研究されていないため、解決に至っていないのが現状である。
李 勝楠 （2021年10月入学）
Shengnan LI Research student (Joined October 2021)
Li is currently researching about the policy, business models and market strategies that affect the recycling of used Plug-in Electric Vehicle (PEV) batteries in China. As the largest PEV market (measured by on-road vehicle numbers), how to solve the problem of an increasing volume of used batteries is becoming an urgent problem. The policies that the Chinese government has published so far have played a key role in the diffusion of PEV and the development of the battery recycling industry. Therefore, research on policies related to the recycling industry is indispensable. What’s more, it’s necessary to promote the development of China's relevant policies and market strategies in this area by referring to advanced regions such as Japan, the United States, and Europe. Her research thus aims to explain what hampers the development of recycling market in China and what kind of improvement is required to further expand the battery recycling market.
Nhi TRUONG Doctoral Candidate (Graduated Sept 2022)
Nhi is currently researching socio-technical lock-in factors that affect urban consumption and mobility. The theoretical part of her research has combined socio-technical systems and urban consumption to propose a framework that explains unsustainable urban consumption behavior. In addition, she is presently using this framework to learn about the situation of low adoption of electric vehicles in Vietnam, comparing the factors that hamper the diffusion of both electric two wheelers and electric four wheelers.
Nhi previously worked as a Vice Director of the Center of Social and Community Development Research and Consultancy (SDRC) and a researcher of the Center of Regional and Urban Studies (CRUS) in Vietnam, and as a researcher at the Asian Institute of Technology in Thailand.
Truong, N., Trencher, G., Matsubae, K., 2022. How Does Socio-Technical Lock-In Cause Unsustainable Consumption in Cities? A Framework and Case Study on Mobility in Bangkok. Frontiers in Sustainable Cities 4. **Open access**
Achmed EDIANTO Doctoral candidate (Graduated Sept 2022)
Achmed is currently researching about the policy, market and environmental conditions that affect international investments in coal-fired electricity and renewable energy. The focus of this research is on using statistical analysis to elucidate the factors that have affected investments from China, Japan and Korea for power generation projects in a sample of some 25 countries.
Before coming to Japan, Achmed worked as a program coordinator/specialist at World Wide Wildlife Fund (WWF) Indonesia in the climate and energy program. In this role, Achmed mostly worked on energy issues, sustainable finance, sustainable infrastructure, and social development. Prior to that, Achmed was a researcher in the Indonesian Institute for Energy Economics (IIEE).
Edianto, A., Trencher, G., Matsubae, K. "Why do some countries receive more international financing for coal-fired power plants than renewables? Influencing factors in 23 countries". Energy for Sustainable Development 66: 177-188. **Open access**
Mei LI Doctoral candidate (Graduated March 2022, joint supervision with Dr. Asuka JUSEN)
Mei is currently researching the low-carbon transition of international oil and gas majors, the principal suppliers of fossil fuels to the global economy. Responding to climate change pressures, some majors are proclaiming themselves on the way to a green transition by pledging numerous strategies, including investment in renewable energy and other low-carbon technologies. This research aims to objectively determine the extent to which the major oil companies are actually divesting from fossil fuels and transitioning towards clean energy, as well as identifying the transition risks they are facing. It is expected the outcomes from this research would be helpful to understand the compatibility of the oil industry’s behavior and its alignment with global climate objectives to achieve a carbon free future. The methodology can also allow the public to track the actions of fossil fuel companies in this transition.
Mei previously worked as a college lecturer in China where she joined an environmental economic project about the mitigation of carbon emissions in Zhejiang Province.
Li M, Trencher G, Asuka J (2022) "The clean energy claims of BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil and Shell: A mismatch between discourse, actions and investments". PLoS ONE 17(2): e0263596. **Open access**
Coverage in media: The Guardian UK, National People's Radio USA, ABC News Australia, Carbon Brief England
Coverage in Nature Energy: Here