Renewable Energy for Transitions (RE4T)

Research Group Leaders: Mark Swilling, Megan Davies, and Holle Wlokas

Based at the Centre for Complex Systems in Transition at Stellenbosch University, RE4T (Renewable Energy for Transitions) is a growing network of postgraduate students, senior researchers and development practitioners. Broadly, RE4T is interested in researching the developmental impact of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme in South Africa (REIPPPP), with closer attention to urban governance and collaboration, community beneficiation and socio-economic and enterprise development.

Currently, our core group is funded through National Research Foundation research grants, and comprises postdoctoral and PhD researchers, MPhil students enrolled in the MPhil in Sustainable Development programme, with opportunities for PGD students in the PGD in Sustainable Development to participate in our research internship programme. The overarching methodological approach is that of ‘emergent transdisciplinary design’ which is about doing science with society through joint problem structuring and solutions-oriented research.

As well as academic research outputs as part of the MPhil and PhD programmes offered through the School of Public Leadership, RE4T is also building a portfolio of research networks and partnerships, thus seeking avenues to source funding for more expansive research collaborations.

The overall focus of RE4T expands beyond research, including potential capacity building and implementation opportunities. The objectives of this research group are to advance the academic debate on just energy transitions, expand a transdisciplinary methodology and support sustainable developmental impact of the energy sector.