Scottish Alliance for Geoscience, Environment and Society

Rebecca J. Grant

Research interests:

My research interests lie in understanding energy injustices emerging with the promotion and use of low carbon energy systems. I also examine the role of energy system modelling in electrification planning, and how to integrate justice into energy modelling and electrification planning.

My PhD seeks to understand the injustices associated with the widespread promotion and uptake of decentralised solar PV systems in Rwanda. This builds on my MRes which examined energy injustices associated with off- grid hydroelectricity in Malawi.

Career history:

BSc Sustainable Development, First Class Honours, University of St Andrews (2014-2018)
MRes in Human Geography, Distinction, University of St Andrews (ESRC 1+3 funded) (2018-2019)
PhD, University of Edinburgh (2019- )

Research consultant examining fuel poverty economics and heat decarbonisation, Sunamp (January- April 2021)
– Literature review on the impacts of heat decarbonisation in the UK on fuel poverty
– Report on key findings and recommendations, including from the modelling of the socio-economic impacts of heat batteries deployment, for Sunamp, housing associations and the wider policy making community

SGSSS Intern in the National Performance Framework Unit, Scottish Government (May- August 2021)
Internship examining international benchmarking of Scotland’s National Performance Framework indicators.
– Database of international comparison data for select Wellbeing Economy Government (WEGo), EU and OECD countries
– Report outlining key findings and opportunities for international comparisons
– Presentations of results to relevant stakeholders in Scottish Government

Active research projects:

UKRI Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh.

PhD title:
-The geographies of energy justice: assessing the implications of off-grid solar PV promotion and uptake in Rwanda.

My research seeks to understand the risks and opportunities associated with the promotion and uptake of off-grid and renewable energy technologies (e.g. solar PV mini-grids) in low-income settings. I utilised the Energy Justice Framework to understand the risks and opportunities linked to the promotion and use of solar PV in Rwanda.

I utilise interviews, participatory GIS mapping, document analysis and geospatial analysis using Python to examine these.

Recent publications:

McCauley, D., Grant, R. and Mwathunga, E., 2022. Achieving energy justice in Malawi: from key challenges to policy recommendations. Climatic Change, 170(3), pp.1-22.
Grant, R., McCauley, D., Von Maltzan, M., Grattage, R. and Mwathunga, E., 2021. An Ecohealth approach to energy justice: Evidence from Malawi’s energy transition from biomass to electrification. Energy Research & Social Science, 75, p.101875.
Horst, D.V.D., Grant, R., Montero, A.M. and Garneviciene, A., 2021. Energy Justice and Social Acceptance of Renewable Energy Projects in the Global South. In A critical approach to the social acceptance of renewable energy infrastructures (pp. 217-234). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
Kirli, D., Hampp, J., van Greevenbroek, K., Grant, R., Mahmood, M., Parzen, M. and Kiprakis, A., 2021, September. PyPSA meets Africa: Developing an open source electricity network model of the African continent. In 2021 IEEE AFRICON (pp. 1-6). IEEE.

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