KIT-UoM Joint PhD: Remunicipalization of energy - implications for urban climate governance

KIT-UoM Joint PhD: Remunicipalization of energy - implications for urban climate governance

Remunicipalization of energy has emerged in recent years as a way for cities to take back ownership and control of energy assets and infrastructure. It is argued that remunicipalization can achieve more transformational social and environmental change, in particular ensuring that low carbon energy transitions are equitable in nature. Decentralization is a key aspect of municipalization and, arguably, enables the development of integrated local city-based strategies to tackle climate change, encourages energy efficiency and advances renewable solutions in an equitable fashion. Australia has the highest rate of energy decentralization amongst OECD countries, and this is raising questions about the appropriate scale of energy governance. In Germany, remunicipalization (Rekommunalisierung),energy autonomy (Energieautarkie) and energy cooperatives (Energiekooperativen) are emerging as an important part of the country’s energy transition (Energiewende), with implications for emerging remunicipalization processes around the world. However, at this stage the evidence base for positive claims around remunicipalization remains reasonably limited. The key questions in this research project (T3) are as follows: What have been the key drivers of remunicipalization of energy? To what extent has the change in ownership resulted in greater form of city control over energy and to a de-facto improvement of climate change protection (CO2 reduction)? To what extent has remunicipalization enhanced the capacity of cities to combat climate change? Has remunicipalization enabled a more just transition to a low carbon energy system?

If successful, the PhD candidate will be enrolled at both the University of Melbourne and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and will be co-supervised by supervisors at both institutions. The researcher will be based at KIT, and will spend at least twelve months at the University of Melbourne.

The application process is competitive, with higher than the equivalent of a University of Melbourne 80% in a relevant degree expected. Information on undertaking a doctorate at KIT and eligibility information can be seen here, with information on the University of Melbourne entry requirements here.

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  • Prof. Dr. Frank Schultmann is Director of the Institute for Industrial Production (IIP) and of the French-German Institute for Environmental Research (DFIU), Karlsruhe Institute of Technoology. He is...
  • Dr. Rebekka Volk is Group Leader for Project and Resource Management in the Built Environment, Institute for Industrial Production. Her research includes: Project management under uncertainty,...
  • Dr Sangeetha Chandrashekeran is the Deputy Director of MSSI. She holds a joint position in MSSI and as a lecturer and researcher in the School of Geography, Faculty of Science at the University of...
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