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Dr Iain Soutar

Dr Iain Soutar

Lecturer in Human Geography

 Stella Turk Building G3.04

 

University of Exeter, Penryn Campus, Penryn, TR10 9FE

 Office hours:

My office hours this term are Mon 11am-12pm and Thu 10-11am.

15 min office hour appointments for students are bookable using the link here, up to 1 hour before the slot.

I will call you on MS Teams at the time you have booked.

Overview

I am an environmental social scientist with a wide range of research interests. My research generally focuses on developing a better understanding of innovation and systemic inertia in energy and other complex systems, and the implications thereof for meeting both policy and societal objectives. This currently focuses on the following themes:

  • Coevolution of social and technological innovation
  • Digitalisation and democratisation within energy systems 
  • Governing for uncertainty in complex systems
  • Whole-systems and cross-systems thinking
  • The water-energy-food nexus

I coordinate ExeterEnergy, the interdisciplinary network of around 150 energy researchers at the University of Exeter. I am also a member of the Energy Policy Group.

Qualifications

2016 PhD From local to global value: The transformational nature of community energy (University of Exeter)
2009 MSc Economics for Natural Resource and Environmental Management (Cranfield University)
2004 BSc Environmental Science (University of Dundee)

Links

Research group links

Research

Research interests

I am interested in the drivers and implications of processes of transformation within the energy system. Ongoing social and technological innovation is changing both the structure and the functioning of energy systems around the world. The processes and outcomes of such change can be understood as transformational: they comprise technologies and infrastructures that are fundamentally different in terms of nature, scale and geography, and involve broader, deeper and more dynamic forms of engagement with the society in which they are embedded. My research is concerned with understanding both the factors and the implications of these changes.

Research projects

  • Energy Democracy and the Politics of Energy Transition in African Countries. ESRC/GCRF, 2020-23
  • IGov2. EPSRC, 2019
  • Stepping Up. EPSRC, 2016-19
  • The role of social capital in energy system change. ESF, 2014-15
  • Energy Security in a Multipolar World. EPSRC, 2010-11

Publications

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Publications by category


Journal articles

Hoolohan C, Soutar I, Suckling J, Druckman A, Larkin A, McLachlan C (2019). Stepping-up innovations in the water–energy–food nexus: a case study of anaerobic digestion in the UK. Geographical Journal, 185(4), 391-405. Abstract.  Full text.
Judson E, Fitch-Roy O, Pownall T, Bray R, Poulter H, Soutar I, Lowes R, Connor P, Britton J, Woodman B, et al (2019). The centre cannot (always) hold: examining pathways towards energy system de-centralisation. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 118 Abstract.  Full text.
Hoolohan C, Larkin A, McLachlan C, Falconer R, Soutar I, Suckling J, Varga L, Haltas I, Druckman A, Lumbroso D, et al (2018). Engaging stakeholders in research to address water–energy–food (WEF) nexus challenges. Sustainability Science, 13(5), 1415-1426. Abstract.  Full text.
Soutar I, Mitchell C (2017). Towards pragmatic narratives of societal engagement in the UK energy system. Energy Research and Social Science, 35, 132-139. Abstract.  Full text.
Rowan JS, Carwardine J, Duck RW, Bragg OM, Black AR, Cutler MEJ, Soutar I, Boon PJ (2006). Development of a technique for Lake habitat survey (LHS) with applications for the European Union Water Framework Directive. AQUATIC CONSERVATION-MARINE AND FRESHWATER ECOSYSTEMS, 16(6), 637-657. Author URL.

Chapters

Soutar I (2018). Community Energy as a site for Social Innovation. In Backhaus J, Genus A, Lorek S, Vadovics E, Wittmayer J (Eds.) Social Innovation and Sustainable Consumption: Research and Action for Societal Transformation.
Britton J, Soutar I (2013). Energy Security Policy in Britain: Markets, Complexity and Challenges. In Mitchell C, Watson J, Britton J (Eds.) New Challenges in Energy Security the UK in a Multipolar World, Palgrave Macmillan, 68-91.  Abstract.
Soutar I, Whiting J (2013). Energy security policy in Britain: Markets, complexity and challenges. In Mitchell C, Watson J, Whiting J (Eds.) New Challenges in Energy Security: the UK in a Multipolar World, London: Palgrave MacMillan.

Conferences

Soutar I (2019). Emergence and control in UK energy system democratisation. in Search of Good Energy Policy.
Soutar I (2018). Energy System Change: Insights for the Circular Economy?. Circular Economy Disruptions: Past, Present and Future. 8th - 10th Jun 2018. Author URL.
Soutar I (2018). Understanding innovation at the Water-Energy-Food nexus. 9th International Sustainability Transitions Conference. 12th - 14th Jun 2018.
Haltas I, Suckling J, Soutar I, Druckman A, Varga L (2017). Anaerobic digestion: a prime solution for water, energy and food nexus challenges.  Abstract.
Soutar I (2017). Balancing diversity and coherence in innovation space-making at the water-energy-food nexus. Energy-water-climate change nexus (EWCN) in a transitional economy: sustainability and resilience. 22nd - 26th May 2017.
Soutar I (2017). Conditions for transformation in the water-energy-food nexus. Transformations 2017: Transformations in Practice. 30th Aug - 1st Sep 2017.
Soutar I, Mitchell C (2017). Towards pragmatic narratives of societal engagement in the UK energy system. AAG Annual Meeting.
Soutar I, Mitchell C (2016). Grappling with Wickedness: the articulation of WEF nexus governance in the UK. RGS Annual Conference.
Soutar I (2015). The role of social capital in energy systems transformation: Insights from community energy. SCORAI workshop: ‘Beyond’ Transition? Understanding & Achieving Sustainable Consumption through Social Innovation.  Abstract.  Author URL.
Soutar I (2015). The use (and abuse?) of evidence in the development of the UK Community Energy Strategy. the interface between sustainability research and policy. 26th - 27th Jan 2015.
Soutar I (2014). Is small-scale beautiful (and how beautiful?): Understanding the role of community energy within the wider UK energy system. Earth Systems Governance.
Soutar I (2013). What role for small-scale energy? Understanding the value of challenging large-scale lock-in. Facing the Future Symposium. 10th - 12th Apr 2013.
Rowan JS, Soutar I, Phillips GE (2006). Morphometric analysis of UK lake systems as a compliance tool for the European Water Framework Directive.  Author URL.

Reports

Judson E, Soutar I, Mitchell C (2020). Governance Challenges Emerging from Energy Digitalisation. EPG Discussion Paper: EPG2002. Author URL.

Publications by year


2020

Judson E, Soutar I, Mitchell C (2020). Governance Challenges Emerging from Energy Digitalisation. EPG Discussion Paper: EPG2002. Author URL.

2019

Soutar I (2019). Emergence and control in UK energy system democratisation. in Search of Good Energy Policy.
Hoolohan C, Soutar I, Suckling J, Druckman A, Larkin A, McLachlan C (2019). Stepping-up innovations in the water–energy–food nexus: a case study of anaerobic digestion in the UK. Geographical Journal, 185(4), 391-405. Abstract.  Full text.
Judson E, Fitch-Roy O, Pownall T, Bray R, Poulter H, Soutar I, Lowes R, Connor P, Britton J, Woodman B, et al (2019). The centre cannot (always) hold: examining pathways towards energy system de-centralisation. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 118 Abstract.  Full text.

2018

Soutar I (2018). Community Energy as a site for Social Innovation. In Backhaus J, Genus A, Lorek S, Vadovics E, Wittmayer J (Eds.) Social Innovation and Sustainable Consumption: Research and Action for Societal Transformation.
Soutar I (2018). Energy System Change: Insights for the Circular Economy?. Circular Economy Disruptions: Past, Present and Future. 8th - 10th Jun 2018. Author URL.
Hoolohan C, Larkin A, McLachlan C, Falconer R, Soutar I, Suckling J, Varga L, Haltas I, Druckman A, Lumbroso D, et al (2018). Engaging stakeholders in research to address water–energy–food (WEF) nexus challenges. Sustainability Science, 13(5), 1415-1426. Abstract.  Full text.
Soutar I (2018). Understanding innovation at the Water-Energy-Food nexus. 9th International Sustainability Transitions Conference. 12th - 14th Jun 2018.

2017

Haltas I, Suckling J, Soutar I, Druckman A, Varga L (2017). Anaerobic digestion: a prime solution for water, energy and food nexus challenges.  Abstract.
Soutar I (2017). Balancing diversity and coherence in innovation space-making at the water-energy-food nexus. Energy-water-climate change nexus (EWCN) in a transitional economy: sustainability and resilience. 22nd - 26th May 2017.
Soutar I (2017). Conditions for transformation in the water-energy-food nexus. Transformations 2017: Transformations in Practice. 30th Aug - 1st Sep 2017.
Soutar I, Mitchell C (2017). Towards pragmatic narratives of societal engagement in the UK energy system. Energy Research and Social Science, 35, 132-139. Abstract.  Full text.
Soutar I, Mitchell C (2017). Towards pragmatic narratives of societal engagement in the UK energy system. AAG Annual Meeting.

2016

Soutar I (2016). From local to global value: the transformational nature of community energy.  Abstract.  Author URL.
Soutar I, Mitchell C (2016). Grappling with Wickedness: the articulation of WEF nexus governance in the UK. RGS Annual Conference.

2015

Soutar I (2015). The role of social capital in energy systems transformation: Insights from community energy. SCORAI workshop: ‘Beyond’ Transition? Understanding & Achieving Sustainable Consumption through Social Innovation.  Abstract.  Author URL.
Soutar I (2015). The use (and abuse?) of evidence in the development of the UK Community Energy Strategy. the interface between sustainability research and policy. 26th - 27th Jan 2015.

2014

Soutar I (2014). Is small-scale beautiful (and how beautiful?): Understanding the role of community energy within the wider UK energy system. Earth Systems Governance.

2013

Britton J, Soutar I (2013). Energy Security Policy in Britain: Markets, Complexity and Challenges. In Mitchell C, Watson J, Britton J (Eds.) New Challenges in Energy Security the UK in a Multipolar World, Palgrave Macmillan, 68-91.  Abstract.
Soutar I, Whiting J (2013). Energy security policy in Britain: Markets, complexity and challenges. In Mitchell C, Watson J, Whiting J (Eds.) New Challenges in Energy Security: the UK in a Multipolar World, London: Palgrave MacMillan.
Soutar I (2013). What role for small-scale energy? Understanding the value of challenging large-scale lock-in. Facing the Future Symposium. 10th - 12th Apr 2013.

2006

Rowan JS, Carwardine J, Duck RW, Bragg OM, Black AR, Cutler MEJ, Soutar I, Boon PJ (2006). Development of a technique for Lake habitat survey (LHS) with applications for the European Union Water Framework Directive. AQUATIC CONSERVATION-MARINE AND FRESHWATER ECOSYSTEMS, 16(6), 637-657. Author URL.
Rowan JS, Soutar I, Phillips GE (2006). Morphometric analysis of UK lake systems as a compliance tool for the European Water Framework Directive.  Author URL.

Iain_Soutar Details from cache as at 2020-09-28 12:11:17

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External Engagement and Impact

Administrative responsibilities

I co-founded, and coordinate ExeterEnergy, an interdisciplinary network of 140+ energy researchers at the University of Exeter


Committee/panel activities

External reviewer for several energy-related MSc programmes for Universities of Oxford and Sussex


Editorial responsibilities

I am a regular reviewer for Energy Research and Social Science; Energy PolicyEnvironment and Planning A; Energy Strategy Reviews; Energies; Science and Culture; Energy Sources Part B: Economics, Planning and Policy

Supervision / Group

Postgraduate researchers

  • Emily Judson: Governing energy system digitalisation for decarbonisation
  • Helen Poulter: Adaptive governance for energy system transformation: A case study of the National Electricity Market in Eastern Australia
  • Thomas Pownall: Re-designing electricity markets for a high-renewable future

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