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Benjamin K. Sovacool

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Benjamin K. Sovacool

Benjamin K. Sovacool

Benjamin K. Sovacool is Director of the Danish Center for Energy Technology at AU Herning and a Professor of Social Sciences at Aarhus University. He is also Associate Professor at Vermont Law School and Director of the Energy Security and Justice Program at their Institute for Energy and the Environment. Sovacool's research interests include energy policy, environmental issues, and science and technology policy, and his research has taken him to 50 countries. He is the author or editor of sixteen books and 250 peer reviewed academic articles.[1] Sovacool's work has been referred to in academic publications such as Science, Nature, and Scientific American. He has written opinion editorials for the Wall Street Journal and the San Francisco Chronicle. Sovacool is a Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Contributing Author, and editor-in-chief of the refereed international journal Energy Research and Social Science which explores the interactions between energy systems and society.

Academic experience

Benjamin Sovacool is Director of the Center for Energy Technology at AU Herning and Professor of Business and Social Sciences at Aarhus University in Denmark.[2][3] Sovacool is also Visiting Associate Professor at Vermont Law School and founding Director of the Energy Security & Justice Program. This is located within the Institute for Energy and Environment, which aims to "expand global access to sustainable energy and craft national energy policies that adapt to climate change without worsening socioeconomic inequality".[4] Sovacool says "Too often, national and international energy policies have focused on protecting adequate supplies of conventional fuels with little or no regard for the long-term consequences to the people and cultures the policies are intended to benefit". The Program, in cooperation with the MacArthur Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Asia Research Institute, and the National University of Singapore, has published a series of case studies examining energy security in Asia.[4] Sovacool lectures on energy security, alternative and renewable energy, environmental economics, and energy policy.[1]

Sovacool is a Contributing Author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) forthcoming Fifth Assessment (AR5) report on "Rural Livelihoods and Poverty". He also served in 2012 as an Erasmus Mundus Visiting Scholar at Central European University in Hungary. He has often consulted for the Asian Development Bank, United Nations Development Program, and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.[1]

Research work

Sovacool has authored more than 250 refereed academic articles and book chapters. His main area of interest is energy policy, but he has also published in the disciplines of "astronomy, bioethics, chemical engineering, environmental law, epidemiology, fisheries, forest management, geography, governance, political economy, political science, public policy and administration, science and technology studies, sociology, and technology transfer". His work has been referred to by Nobel Laureates and in well-known academic publications such as Science, Nature, and Scientific American. He has written opinion editorials for the Wall Street Journal and the San Francisco Chronicle.[1]

At the National University of Singapore, he led many research projects supported by the MacArthur Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation about improving energy security for impoverished rural Asian communities.[1]

Sovacool's research has taken him to more than 50 countries, including:[5]


In 2007, Sovacool co-edited Energy and American Society: Thirteen Myths which has been reviewed in Energy Policy[6] and the Annals of the Association of American Geographers.[7] In 2008, he wrote The Dirty Energy Dilemma: What’s Blocking Clean Power in the United States which was published by Praeger and won a 2009 Nautilus Book Award.[8]

In Contesting the Future of Nuclear Power (2011) Sovacool says, following a detailed analysis, that there is a "consensus among a broad base of independent, nonpartisan experts that nuclear power plants are a poor choice for producing electricity", and that "energy efficiency programs and renewable power technologies are better than nuclear power plants".[9]

This is a full list of Benjamin Sovacool's books:

  • 1. Sovacool, BK and MA Brown (Eds.) Energy and American Society: Thirteen Myths (New York: Springer, 2007), xi + 340 pp.
  • 2. Sovacool, BK. The Dirty Energy Dilemma: What’s Blocking Clean Power in the United States (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2008), xvii + 294 pp.
  • 3. Mendonça, M, D Jacobs, and BK Sovacool. Powering the Green Economy: The Feed-In Tariff Handbook, (London: Earthscan, 2009), xxxi + 197 pp.
  • 4. Sovacool, BK (Ed.) Routledge Handbook of Energy Security (London: Routledge, 2010), xviii + 436 pp.
  • 5. Sovacool, BK. Contesting the Future of Nuclear Power: A Critical Global Assessment of Atomic Energy (London: World Scientific, 2011), vii + 296 pp.
  • 6. Brown, MA and BK Sovacool. Climate Change and Global Energy Security: Technology and Policy Options (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2011), x + 416 pp.
  • 7. Sovacool, BK and SV Valentine. The National Politics of Nuclear Power: Economics, Security, and Governance (London: Routledge, 2012), xx + 292 pp., see
  • 8. Sovacool, BK and IM Drupady. Energy Access, Poverty, and Development: The Governance of Small-Scale Renewable Energy in Developing Asia (New York: Ashgate, 2012), xxii + 306 pp., see
  • 9. Sovacool, BK and CJ Cooper. The Governance of Energy Megaprojects: Politics, Hubris, and Energy Security (London: Edward Elgar, 2013), vii + 272 pp., see
  • 10. Sovacool, BK. Energy & Ethics: Justice and the Global Energy Challenge (New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2013), xxii + 278 pp., see
  • 11. Sovacool, BK, R Sidortsov, and B Jones. Energy Security, Equality and Justice (London: Routledge, 2013). see
  • 13. Sovacool, BK and MH Dworkin. Global Energy Justice: Principles, Problems, and Practices (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2014).
  • 15. Sovacool, BK (Ed.). Energy, Poverty, and Development (London: Routledge Critical Concepts in Development Studies Series, Four Volumes, forthcoming 2014).

Selected articles

This is a selection of recent articles by Sovacool:[2]

  • Sovacool, BK. “An International Assessment of Energy Security Performance,” Ecological Economics 88 (April, 2013), pp. 148–158. Available at
  • Sovacool, BK. “Design Principles for Renewable Energy Programs in Developing Countries,” Energy & Environmental Science 5(11) (November, 2012), pp. 9157–9162. Available at
  • Sovacool, BK. “Deploying Off-Grid Technology to Eradicate Energy Poverty,” Science 338 (October 5, 2012), pp. 47–48. Available at
  • Sovacool, BK, A D’Agostino, A Rawlani, and H Meenawat. “Improving Climate Change Adaptation in Least Developed Asia,” Environmental Science & Policy 21(8) (August, 2012), pp. 112–125. Available at
  • Cherp, A, A Adenikinju, A Goldthau, F Hernandez, BK Sovacool et al., “Energy and Security,” In TB Johansson, A Patwardhan, N Nakicenovic, and L Gomez-Echeverri (Eds.) Global Energy Assessment (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp. 325–383. Available at
  • Sovacool, BK. “Expert Views of Climate Change Adaptation in the Maldives,” Climatic Change 114(2) (July, 2012), pp. 295–300. Available at
  • Sovacool, BK, I Mukherjee, IM Drupady, and AL D’Agostino. “Evaluating Energy Security Performance from 1990 to 2010 for Eighteen Countries,” Energy 36(10) (October, 2011), pp. 5846–5853. Available at
  • Rafey, W and BK Sovacool. "Competing Discourses of Energy Development: The Implications of the Medupi Coal-Fired Power Plant in South Africa." Global Environmental Change 21(3) (August, 2011), pp. 1141–1151. Available at
  • Sovacool, BK. “Conceptualizing Hard and Soft Paths for Climate Change Adaptation,” Climate Policy 11(4) (July, 2011), pp. 1177–1183. Available at
  • Sovacool, BK. “The Importance of Open and Closed Styles of Energy Research,” Social Studies of Science 40(6) (December, 2010), pp. 903–930. Available at
  • Sovacool, BK and MA Brown. “Competing Dimensions of Energy Security: An International Review,” Annual Review of Environment and Resources 35 (November, 2010), pp. 77–108. Available at


  • 2006—Ph.D., Science and Technology Studies, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA.
  • 2005—M.S./Graduate Certificates, Science Policy, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA.
  • 2003—M.A., Rhetoric, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI.
  • 2001—B.A., Philosophy and Communication Studies, John Carroll University, Cleveland, OH.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Vermont Law School (2013). "Benjamin K. Sovacool Biography". 
  2. ^ a b Aarhus University. "Professor Benjamin Sovacool". 
  3. ^ Aarhus University (2013). "Keynote speakers". PMA 2014 Conference. 
  4. ^ a b "VT Law School Launches Energy Security & Justice Project". Vermont Law School. January 24, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Kaitlin Gill (4 January 2012). "A Ball of Energy". John Carroll Magazine. 
  6. ^ Fereidoon P. Sioshansi. Energy and American Society—Thirteen Myths (Book Review) Energy Policy, 35 (2007), pp. 6554–6555.
  7. ^  .
  8. ^ Curriculum Vitae: Dr. Benjamin K. Sovacool
  9. ^ Benjamin K. Sovacool (2011). "Contesting the Future of Nuclear Power".  
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