Alister Forman

Alister Forman

Research student

Email:
formanak@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 208 76441
Location:
, Cathays, Cardiff, CF10 3BA

Alister joined the Sustainable Places Research Institute in October 2013 as part of his PhD research project in conjunction with the School of Geography and Pl anning entitled 'Building Community Resilience: The Role for Community Energy Projects in Sustainable Place Making'.  He previously completed the MSc Global Security (Social and Cultural Perspectives), graduating with Distinction from the University of Glasgow (2012) and holds a BA (Hons) Business Law and Politics from the University of Stirling (2004).

Prior to coming to Cardiff, Alister conducted research on Scottish climate change policy and Scotland’s role as an environmental actor in the broader context of environmental security;  with a specific interest in local and community solutions to climate change manifest through the land reform movement in Scotland.

Qualifications:
  • MSc with Distinction, Global Security (Social and Cultural Perspectives), University of Glasgow (2012)
  • BA (Hons) Business Law and Politics, University of Stirling (2004)
Memberships:
  • Postgraduate Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (2013 – Present)
  • Fellow of the European Energy Justice Network (2015 – Present)

Grants and Funding:
  • Graduate College Award for Interdisciplinary Activities - Interdisciplinary Research on Energy Transitions, February 2015, Co-convener, University Graduate College (Cardiff University), £1000
Conference Papers and Workshop Items:

2016

  • ‘Energy Justice at the End of the Wire: Enacting Community Energy and Equity’ – Presented at: 3rd Energy and Society Network Conference: Transforming Energy for Society, Leipzig, Germany, 12 – 15th September 2016

  • ‘Energy Justice at the End of the Wire: Enacting Community Energy and Equity’ – Presented at: RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, Imperial College London, 31 August – 2nd September 2016

2015

  • ‘ Enacting Energy Justice? Community Energy and the (Re-) Distribution of Power: Evidence from a Welsh Case Study ’ – Presented at: Energy Geographies Research Group Postgraduate and Early Career Researcher Forum, University of York,  7 – 8th December 2015
  • “It’s All About the (Re-) Distribution of Power” Exploring Community Energy and Equity: Evidence from a Welsh Case Study ’ – Presented at: Interdisciplinary Research on Energy Transitions Conference, Cardiff University, 5th October 2015

2014

  • “Big Society, Little Justice?” The Case of Community Energy and Fuel Poverty in Wales ’ – Presented at: Welsh Human Geography Postgraduate Conference, Gregynog, 19 – 20th March 2014
Invited Contributions:

2016

  • ‘ Enacting Energy Justice? Community Energy and the (Re-) Distribution of Power: Evidence from a Welsh Case Study ’ – Invited Presentation at: Consumers, Citizens, and Communities: An Exploratory Energy Policy and Law Workshop, University of Exeter, 14th April 2016

2015

Teaching:

Undergraduate Contributions:

  • Post-Carbon Worlds : Energy Geographies (CP0247), Seminar Convener
Innovation and engagement:

Conference Organisation:

  • Exploring the Energy Justice Nexus, Co-Convener, Contributed session, RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, London, 31 August – 2nd September 2016

Research interests

  • Energy Geographies
  • Energy Justice
  • Community Energy
  • Fuel Poverty
  • Social Justice
  • Participatory Methodologies
  • Land Reform and Land Use
  • Climate Change
  • Energy Practices
  • Time Shifting and Energy Storage

Current Research:

My research explores the co-constitution of energy and equity within our energy systems; with a particular concern for the role that community energy models play in contributing towards the (re)negotiation of social justice within energy systems broadly conceived. Large-scale, centralised models of energy systems, ubiquitous across the industrialised world, provide energy at an unprecedented scale in real time. More recently, however, research around the emergent theme of energy justice suggests that despite the outward appearance of an energy system that delivers safe, clean and affordable energy for all, access to energy is in fact highly contingent and fragmented whilst its associated benefits are unevenly distributed across space and time and between social groups. With the increasing presence of communities playing an active part in the negotiation of their own energy futures, my research examines the role of community energy as a vehicle for achieving social justice objectives – particularly in the context of fuel poverty in Wales – and for mapping and examining local perceptions of community benefit as a tool for exploring the diversity of ways in which community energy contributes towards the mediation of local and social objectives beyond the environmental.  The study works directly with Welsh Government as an active partner and co-funder; with an explicit focus on the Ynni’r Fro community energy programme and participatory engagement with a range of communities from across Wales.

Thesis

Energy and Equity Revisited: The Role of Community Energy in a Socially Just Energy System

My research explores the co-constitution of energy and equity within our energy systems; with a particular concern for the role that community energy models play in contributing towards the (re)negotiation of social justice within energy systems broadly conceived. Large-scale, centralised models of energy systems, ubiquitous across the industrialised world, provide energy at an unprecedented scale in real time. More recently, however, research around the emergent theme of energy justice has unveiled that despite the outward appearance of an energy system that delivers safe, clean and affordable energy for all, access to energy is in fact highly contingent and fragmented whilst its associated benefits are unevenly distributed across society. With the increasing presence of communities playing an active part in the negotiation of their own energy futures, my research examines the role of community energy as a vehicle for achieving social justice objectives – particularly in the context of fuel poverty in Wales – and for mapping and examining local perceptions of community benefit as a tool for exploring the diversity of ways in which community energy contributes towards the mediation of local and social objectives beyond the environmental.

Funding source

ESRC; Welsh Government; Cardiff University

Dr Richard Cowell

Professor Richard Cowell

Professor of Environmental Policy and Planning

External profiles