PhD Summer School

Every year the University of Groningen and EAE organize the Groningen Energy Summer School for PhD students. The course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the energy transition. By bringing together and combining a broad range of disciplines it offers a unique opportunity for PhD students to become aware of different aspects of the energy transition, to develop novel insights, and to create synergy in approaches to energy transition. Participants will attend lectures by specialists in the field, present their own and each other’s work, and play an active role in the discussions.

This 6th summer school in a highly successful series discusses energy transition ‘in your own backyard’. In the fossil fuel based energy system citizens and local companies play a passive role as consumers of fuels, gas and electricity. Renewables challenge this in multiple ways. The implications of renewable production tend to be contested, often in ‘not in my backyard’ (NIMBY) terms. Alternatively, households, companies and communities gain new opportunities to produce their own energy as active prosumers. This holds promises both in the Global North and in the South for ‘yes in my backyard’ (YIMBY) developments.

The existing energy system has to adapt. Most renewable technologies depend on a high number of relatively small production sites, while bottom-up initiatives create new institutional networks ranging from cooperatives to local energy companies. Grid operators, energy companies and governments have to adapt as is illustrated by the development of smart grids, new buffering technologies and changing energy regulations.

GESS 2017 highlights local perspectives on global energy transition. We will be sensitive to the wide range of ‘backyards’ around the globe, addressing differences between urban and rural areas across the world. How to map today’s and tomorrow’s energy landscapes? How are opportunities evaluated by companies and (local) governments? How do local changes interact with global institutional, financial and corporate decision-making?

By interaction between natural sciences, social sciences, engineering, the humanities, economics and law unique new insights will emerge, as the previous Energy Summer Schools have demonstrated.

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Sixth Groningen Energy Summer School

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