Eindhoven University of Technology
School of Innovation Sciences: Technology, Innovation & Society Group
has a vacancy for a
Postdoctoral Fellow “Developing and Implementing Smart Grids in India”-
0,7 fte, 4 years
Vacancy ID: V39.2368
Starting date: December 1st, 2015
This position is embedded within a project funded by NWO under the call “Social Responsible Innovation”. The Postdoc will work with Prof. Geert Verbong and Dr. Johanna Höffken.
The hosting department
The Technology, Innovation and Society (TIS) group of the School of Innovation Sciences focuses on the transition towards a sustainable society. Sustainability is conceived as a broad notion that includes environmental, economic, social, ethical, institutional and cultural aspects. The analysis of long-term structural changes in society towards sustainability and of interventions in these long-term processes (including the design of tools for policy and collective decision making), are the key issues in research and teaching of the TIS group. A key concern, especially in this vacancy, is to apply and further develop social practice theory to analyze emerging sustainability practices. Another concern is to apply knowledge gained during research directly to practice.
The interdisciplinary TIS group is an internationally known, thriving research group that aims to tackle key sustainability challenges. TIS partners with research networks such as the STRN or WTMC. Within the TIS group you will work with friendly and highly motivated colleagues, which embeds your research career in a stimulating professional atmosphere.
Description of the project
The Postdoctoral researcher will be employed in the context of the project “Developing and Implementing Smart Grids in India”. Successful smart grid development is not simply a matter of getting the technology right: social embedding, ethical acceptability and institutional support are at least as important. This project sets out to answer the overall research question: How can smart grids be successfully developed and implemented in rural India? This question is addressed by closely studying, informing and adjusting the actual process of developing and implementing smart grids on a local scale. In an iterative process the project will define, develop and test prototypes that enable a smart exchange of electricity in rural India. Research will proceed through an interdisciplinary collaboration between scientists, businesses and societal stakeholders.
The postdoctoral fellow will -in close cooperation with the project partners- carefully study routines and actions related to smart grid implementation in the specific local settings in rural India. This will provide empirical insights into engagement and implementation approaches as well as user practices and values related to smart grid technology.
She/he will publish the results via conference contributions and papers in international peer-reviewed journals. The position includes the active involvement in the teaching curriculum of the TIS group, including supervision of student projects on the BSc and MSc level.
Minimum qualifications for this position are a PhD or expected PhD in relevant social sciences ( e.g. Science, Technology and Society studies (STS); Transition Studies; Innovation Studies or human geography). Knowledge of the Indian (energy) context and/or research experience with sustainability issues is highly recommended.
Qualitative research methods will be applied, including field trips to India, interviews, focus groups, participative observation. In addition, an open mind, a “hands-on” /solution-oriented attitude, and the ability to communicate and collaborate across disciplinary boundaries is essential. Fluency in English is required.
Conditions of employment
• a challenging postdoctoral appointment for a period of 4 years in a dynamic and ambitious university;
• a gross monthly salary between € 2977,- and € 3908,- per month (on a full-time basis), depending on experience and knowledge; the position foresees 0,7 fte.
• a yearly holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary;
• an annual end-of-year allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary;
• a broad package of fringe benefits (including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, savings schemes, and excellent sports facilities).
More information about the TIS group can be found https://www.tue.nl/en/university/departments/industrial-engineering-innovation-sciences/research/research-groups/technology-innovation-society/. For further information about this position, please contact Johanna Höffken, firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>.
Information about terms of employment can be obtained from Mrs. Jolanda van der Sande, personnel officer (firstname.lastname@example.org<mailto:email@example.com>). Further information about the Eindhoven University of Technology can be found at www.tue.nl<http://www.tue.nl>.
Your application must contain the following documents (all in English):
· Cover letter (2 page max.), where you motivate your interest in this vacancy and explicitly explain in which ways you represent a good match;
· An extensive curriculum vitae including a publication list;
· Copies of relevant (working) papers;
· Name and contact information of two references;
Please note that a maximum of 5 documents can be uploaded. We invite you to apply at your earliest convenience, but no later than 31 Oct 2015. You can send us your application through the online job portal of the TU/e: http://jobs.tue.nl/en/vacancies.html or by clicking here<http://jobs.tue.nl/en/vacancy/postdoctoral-fellow-quotdeveloping-and-implementing-smart-grids-in-indiaquot-230901.html>. Applications per email are not accepted.
Link to job announcement:
Please forward this PhD vacancy to potential candidates.
The PhD position is situated within a research project entitled "Integration
of Power Transmission Grids (InGrid) - Prospects and Challenges at National
and European Levels in advancing the energy transition". See
Thanks very much in advance.
Allan Dahl Andersen
Postdoc Fellow in Innovation Studies
Centre for Technology,
Innovation and Culture (TIK)
University of Oslo, Norway
3 PhD positions on The Origins of Breakthrough Inventions [deadline for applications: 30 September 2015]
The 3 PhD-projects are part of the NWO-VICI grant “The Genealogy of Novelty: An evolutionary explanation of breakthrough inventions in science, technology, and the arts” and aim to analyze the personal, institutional and geographical conditions supportive of breakthrough inventions. One student will look at personal biographies of inventive individuals in science, business and the arts. A second student will reconstruct technological breakthroughs using empirical data on product characteristics characteristics. The third student will look at citations patterns among documents describing inventions such as patents, publications and art reviews. The guiding idea of the project holds that breakthrough inventions stem from diversity, because diversity allows for recombination of dissimilar items leading to radically new items. Diversity measures will be derived using genealogical data and analyzed using network analysis, where genealogies can be reconstructed from biographies (PhD student 1), product characteristics (PhD student 2) or, citation patterns (PhD student 3).
For all three project large databases are already available, which can be extended by the applicant. In each project, quantitative research can be combined with qualitative research. Students are also encouraged to come up with own theories or methodologies to extend the original framework. Travel grants allow applicants to go abroad to partner institutes including the MIT Media Lab, University College London and Lund University. Collaboration with Philips’ IP department or with government bodies is also possible. Candidates will become part of the Innovation Studies group of the Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development at Utrecht University. Professor Koen Frenken will act as supervisor.
We seek highly motivated candidates with a MSc degree in innovation studies, economics, management, geography, history, sociology, science & technologies studies, or a related discipline. We are looking for candidates who:
· have knowledge about theories of innovation;
· have affinity with, or willingness to learn about, evolutionary theorizing;
· have a background in quantitative methodologies;
· are proficient in English;
· have excellent scientific writing and planning skills.
All PhD students can spend the vast majority of their time on the research project; only 10% of their time will be spent on teaching, and supervision of (under)graduate research projects. Each project can start sometime between 1 November 2015 and 1 September 2016.
Conditions of employment
The successful candidate will be offered a full-time PhD position, initially for one year. Upon good performance, the contract will be extended for three more years. Employment conditions are based on the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch Universities. Based on the experience and qualifications of the candidate, the gross monthly salary is between € 2,125.- and € 2,717.- (PhD salary scale) on a fulltime basis. The salary is supplemented by a holiday allowance of 8% per year and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%.We offer a pension scheme, collective insurance schemes and flexible employment conditions (multiple choice model). Facilities for sports and child care are available on our campus, which is only fifteen minutes away from the historical city center of Utrecht. For more information visit Working at Utrecht University.
Additional information about the PhD projects can be obtained by contacting prof. dr. Koen Frenken:firstname.lastname@example.org
Job posting: Research Fellow in Systemic Approaches to Low Carbon Transitions
Closing Date: Thursday, October 15, 2015
The Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (CCCEP), which brings together some of the world's leading interdisciplinary researchers on climate change economics and policy, is funding this Research Fellow position at the University of Leeds. The research will undertake a systemic, co-evolutionary analysis of low-carbon innovation, combining historical insights, case studies of current best practice, and future implications. The scope includes both demand-side and supply-side options, in order to estimate how rapidly a low carbon transition can be achieved, while taking into account barriers to change, alongside potential social and economic benefits. The aim is to synthesize this analysis into a quantitative framework intended to test potential policy changes, and thus provide policy guidance.
You will be based at the University of Leeds and join a research team led by Dr Julia Steinberger and Professor Peter Taylor in SRI at the University of Leeds and Professor Tim Foxon in the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex, who all have experience in applied and policy relevant research in the fields of energy and climate mitigation.
More information: https://jobs.leeds.ac.uk/vacancy.aspx?ref=ENVEE1079
Dr Tim Foxon,
Reader in Sustainability and Innovation,
Sustainability Research Institute,
School of Earth and Environment,
University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, U.K.
CALL FOR PHD SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS
DUE: 27 SEPTEMBER 2015
The Australian-German Climate and Energy College is now accepting applications for PhD scholarships from domestic and international students who work in the field of climate and energy transitions.
The Australian-German Climate and Energy College is an international Graduate College jointly instituted by the University of Melbourne and a partnership of the Potsdam Institute of Climate Impact Research and other German universities. The College provides a cohort-based environment for students working across the Faculties of Arts, Science, Agricultural Science, Engineering and Business and Economics. Students must commence study prior to 18 December 2015. Students also spend six months in Germany as part of their PhD program.
Application deadline: 27 September 2015
Apply here: http://climatecollege.unimelb.edu.au/call-phd-scholarship-applications
I searched for data on global greenhouse gas emissions by country and was disappointed with what I found. Data in AR5 WG3 are from 2010. The Wikipedia site’s data are from 2010. It says they are from World Resources Institute (WRI), but WRI just gets their data from the UNFCCC. By the way, WRI’s new Climate Data Explore (CAIT), provides some interesting graphic output. However, it uses 2012 data.
Under the United Nations’s Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) treaty (which was ratified by the US Senate), Annex I countries to the treaty (the more industrialized nations) are required to report their annual emissions of greenhouse gasses. The UNFCCC established and maintains the technical guidelines for doing this, and compiles the data. However, this process is disappointingly slow. While a note on the homepage reports that the data have been updated with 2013 numbers, all the downloads on the Annex I time-series data page only extend only to 2012. The same goes for the country GHG profiles (which are very useful). The only place I could find 2013 data on the UNFCCC site was in the national reports, which are here. Apparently the 2013 have not been organized by UNFCCC, or at least, I could not find it on their website.
UNFCCC exports data to numerous sites and that list is available here. It includes the USEPA, but the most current data on the USEPA site is from 2012. It also includes the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. The best report on that site was the Trends in Global CO2 Emissions. This is a 2014 report that includes 2013 data. It notes in the report that the data are somewhat preliminary, however they have good confidence in the overall accuracy. If you are concerned about the high accuracy numbers for an individual country, you will have difficulty finding data that are newer than 2012.
The Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center at Oak Ridge National Lab (US Department of Energy), also estimates CO2 emissions. The estimates for 2011-2013 are preliminary. It is these estimates that are used by the Global Carbon Atlas. It's important to realize that the Atlas is using DOE estimates rather than UNFCCC data.
It’s incredible to me that, in an age when we are so used to having data quickly available, that it would be so difficult to get current data on an issue of this importance.
The Clean Power Plan will reduce USA greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity generation sector by 32% off of 2005 levels by 2030. This is about 800 million tonnes of CO2 gas.
Some people argue that 800 million tonnes is a small number, in the global context. Global CO2 emissions in 2013 were 34,082 million tonnes. 800 is a mere 2.3% of 34,082. There are those who argue that the Clean Power Plan will hurt the American economy and only reduce global emissions a tiny amount. Their conclusion is that it doesn’t make sense for the USA to reduce pollution such as small amount, because the global effect will be slight.
This is an old argument and it’s long been recognized as a way of thinking that leads to collective destruction. It leads to what is called “the tragedy of the commons.” Consider a common resource that is owned by no one, but which everyone can use. It is completely logical (from an individual point of view) for each person to exploit that resource as much as possible believing that, if I don’t use it, someone else will. But what makes perfect sense from an individual perspective, ends up harming everyone. This kind of thinking has led to over grazing, over fishing, and, now, the changing of the Earth’s climate.
800 million tonnes of CO2 is a significant number. It’s more than the entire yearly emissions of Germany, the world’s 3rd largest economy. Moreover, there are many European countries that are taking extraordinary steps to reduce their emissions, and at high cost to residents and tax payers. If the logic of individual thinking has weight in the USA, which is the 2nd largest polluter, how much more compelling should that logic be in smaller countries? And if those smaller countries don’t act, and we don’t act, we are surely on the path of global tragedy.
It is important we don’t let the logic of individual thinking shape how we make national or state environmental and energy policy.
The final rule for EPA’s Clean Power Plan came out today. This is the strongest action the Federal Government has taken to reduce the drivers of climate change. The draft rule was put out in June 2014. It proposed targets for CO2 emissions from power plants for each state. The final rule made some adjustments to the proposed rule. (A summary of the changes is available here.)
Each state’s target is expressed as a rate of CO2 emissions per unit of electricity generated (pounds of CO2 per MWh). EPA computes the present rate (using 2012 data) and the targeted rate for the year 2030. Stepwise targets are also set beginning in 2022. The targets are different for each state because each state has different energy histories and capacities. Washington, for example, has only one coal-fired power station while Ohio has many. In the interest of fairness, EPA has come up with a formula and applied it to each state.
The formula takes into account four different things.
1. Fuel efficiency of coal-fired power stations.
2. Unused capacity at existing natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) power plants.
3. Reliance on nuclear and renewable energy sources.
4. [Demand side conservation was included under the draft rule, but this was dropped in the final rule.]
To compute future CO2 emissions targets, the formula assumes the following policy targets:
1. Coal-fired power station efficiency should increase between 2-4% by 2030.
2. The use of NGCC power plants should increase to 75% of “net summer capacity” by 2030.
3. Increase nuclear and renewables to 13% of supply by 2030.
Washington State’s emissions of CO2 from the electricity sector were 7 million tons. These come almost totally from the Centralia coal power plant. Washington’s rate of CO2 emissions was 763 lb/MWh. The goal EPA set for WA in 2030 is 215 lb/MWh. That is a drop of 72%.
The Centralia plant is scheduled to switch over to natural gas by 2030. This fuel-switching should produce about a 44% drop in the state’s CO2 emissions rate (because natural gas emits less CO2 than coal per unit of electricity generated). Since Washington will have no coal-fired power stations after 2030 and it has no plans to build more nuclear power stations, the additional required reduction in CO2 emission rate will have to come about by:
· increasing the amount of time natural gas plants are run or
· installation of new renewable energy such as wind or solar.
Reduction of demand through energy efficiency improvements, such as switching out incandescent light bulbs for LEDs, was part of the draft rule, but this was removed in the final rule. Nonetheless, EPA expects that states will incorporate energy conservation and efficiency into their plans simply because it is cost-effective to do so.
Additionally, the Clean Power Plan allows for states to combine their state goals and achieve collective targets through emissions trading, or setting a price on carbon. This is quite new as existing carbon trading scheme involve polluters trading with each other, but under the Clean Power Plan states could trade with states.
States have until September 2016 to propose a plan or obtain an extension.
We’ve all heard that it is essential to keep the Earth from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This target was formally accepted by the Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC in 2010, but it had traction in international venues as early as 1996. As we begin to put Paris in our scope and hope for international agreements to reduce CO2 emissions at the COP meeting this December, we ought also reconsider the 2 degree target, for three reasons.
First, the number, 2 degrees, was assigned without any awareness of tipping points. We simply do not know whether gradual increases in surface temperature will produce graduate changes in weather and climate. The worst case scenario is that there is a tipping point somewhere below 2 degrees.
Second, 2 degrees was selected because it would produce manageable impacts, not negligible impacts. At 2 degrees, many Pacific Island nations are likely underwater, many coral reefs are gone, most the glaciers are gone, and there are dozens of other impacts that we can only project may happen. In summary, we have only a partial idea of what a world that is 2 degrees warmer looks like.
Finally, we ought to remember that 2 degrees is presumed to be a limit of our tolerance for harm. A world that is 2 degrees warmer is filled with damage, risk, and sorrow. It is neither a condition we want to reach, nor one we want to remain in. However, we have no idea whether the warming of the planet can be effectively reversed by humans. Perhaps we could tolerate a 2 degrees warmer world for one year or two years, but what about ten or twenty?
As climate change negotiations again come into the public agenda, we ought to resist the temptation to fall into the 2 degree trap. It is not a world we want to create, nor is it likely one we will enjoy. Instead, our efforts ought to be oriented toward reducing greenhouse emissions as quickly as possible. Likewise, the idea of a carbon budget is valuable, but we need to remember that our goal is to underspend our budget, not to push right up against its limits. Given our lack of knowledge of tipping points, being precautionary is warranted. Of course, my economist friends will point to the inefficiencies of not using the entire budget. But when I weigh precaution again efficiency, in this instance, I would argue that we ought to choose precaution.
Neither a 2 degree surface warming target nor a 1,000 GT carbon budget are sufficient indicators or targets to steer such an important global negotiation such as this. Instead, a multitude of indicators and measures ought to be used to make sure we are on the right path. Fortunately, the USGS along with NOAA has been leading an effort among scientists to select the best indicators for climate health. A report on the indicators this project recommended is here: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/indicators/
Just back from a meeting with Energy Trans researchers in Europe. The meeting was organized by colleagues at Clark University, University of Vermont, Stuttgart University, and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.
directs research at the Energy Trans Lab