Kate O'Sullivan BSc, MSc, FRGS
Research student, School of Geography and Planning
Coming from a rural area defined by its current and past industrial mining history, I have grown up with a great interest in the environment, and how its resources are utilized and managed. It has also helped fuel my passion for sustainability and social justice, especially in relation to peripheral communities.
- BSc Geography, 1st class. Undergraduate dissertation ‘The speed and degree of soil recovery after surface mining in South Wales’ was commended by School of Science, Swansea University.
- MSc Social Research Methods, Merit. Masters dissertation ‘Perceived impacts of wind farm ‘community benefits’ on local communities in South Wales: The Maesgwyn Example’
External Activities / Membership
The current low-carbon energy transition is likely to impact different households and communities within the UK in different ways, influenced largely upon their relative geographical location, level of wealth, energy needs and consumption. The impacts of transition are also likely to be diverse making some households and communities energy vulnerable while others may become more secure. Through adopting qualitative data collection methods and an energy vulnerability and social inclusion perspective, my PhD project aims to establish the socio-economic impacts of low-carbon energy transitions on vulnerable peripheral communities in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales. It will largely focus on: what members of a community are energy vulnerable and in what ways; what members of a community are experiencing low-carbon energy transition; how this impacts upon their day to day life and general community life; and how governance arrangements affect who experiences the transition in certain ways.
The impacts of energy transitions on vulnerable peripheral communities
The aim of this project is to investigate new governance challenges arising from the low-carbon energy transition in peripheral communities in and around the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, Wales. As these communities face multiple vulnerabilities, the following objectives will bear in mind their context; investigate how communities engage with energy practices and innovations; investigate how energy transitions interplay with the socio-economic evolution of the communities; evaluate the capacity and opportunity the communities have in adapting to the new energy agenda; develop a theoretical and methodological perspective for understanding the impacts of low-carbon innovations in vulnerable rural/small urban communities.
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Brecon Beacons National Park Authority