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Research Integrated Research on Energy, Environment and Society | IREES Research Local Energy Communities: Responsible Innovation Towards Sustainable Energy (CO-RISE)

Key note speakers

Dr. Ankit Kumar, Technical University Eindhoven, department Technology, Innovation & Society

Title: Developing Country Perspective on Community Energy: Learnings from Indian Smart Grids.


Ankit Kumar is a human geographer working on socio-cultural issues that impact people's access to basic infrastructure in the global South. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at School of Innovation Sciences, Eindhoven University of Technology, working on social and institutional aspects of smart grid developments in India. Ankit has a PhD in Geography from Durham University, UK. His research interests revolve around critical development studies, postcolonial studies, digital social sciences and energy geographies. He has published in various journals including Energy Research and Social Science, Social and Cultural Geography, Geoforum.

Prof. dr. Rolf Künneke, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management (TPM), TUDelft

Title: Aligning institutions and technology in community energy systems.


Rolf Künneke is full Professor Economics of Infrastructures at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management (TPM) of Delft University of Technology. He applies an institutional economic perspective towards responsible innovation, institutional design, regulation, and modelling of energy systems. He analyses the interrelatedness of technical and institutional features of sustainable energy infrastructures. He worked with Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom on the governance of social-ecological and socio-technical systems. He was member of the board of a national research program on the Dutch gas infrastructure (EDGaR). Recently he is Principal Investigator of the Amsterdam Institute for Metropolitan Solutions. His recent research focuses on societal values of smart energy systems.

Prof. Jens Lowitsch, Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)

Title: Investing in a Renewable Future – Renewable Energy Communities, Consumer (Co-)Ownership and Energy Sharing in the Clean Energy Package.


Jens Lowitzsch holds the Kelso Professorship of Comparative Law, East European Business Law and European Legal Policy at Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder). He directs the Inter-University Centre (Viadrina, Freie Universität Berlin, Sveučilište u Splitu and Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne). His main fields of expertise are employee and consumer financial participation, energy law, privatisation, insolvency law, European Law and legal policy, distributive justice and the renewal of the European welfare state. Dr. Lowitzsch was born in Germany and besides his mother tongue speaks fluently English, French, Italian, Polish and is proficient in Spanish and Russian. He studied law and Slavonic studies at Freie Universität Berlin and Universytet Jagiellonski Kraków. After the postgraduate judicial service at the Berlin Regional Court of Appeal, he passed the bar exam in 2002. In the same year, he earned his PhD at Freie Universität Berlin.

Dr. Lowitzsch directs the HORIZON 2020 project “SCORE – Supporting Consumer Co-Ownership in Renewable Energies” as coordinator (CSA 2018-2021, see He edited the book “Energy Transition – Financing Consumer Ownership in Renewables – 18 country studies and a comparative analysis” published in January 2019 with Palgrave/McMillan; this book advocates Consumer Stock Ownership Plans (CSOPs) investigating their feasibility in all countries under consideration.

Dr. Mari Martiskainen, Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex

Title: Just Transitions - Can Community Energy Ensure a Better Low-carbon Transition.


Mari Martiskainen is a Research Fellow at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex. She is a member of the Sussex Energy Group. She has a specific interest in the transition to a more fair, clean and sustainable energy world. Her research centres around energy policy, with specific focus on the issues of developing low energy housing, addressing energy poverty and promoting renewable energy. Dr. Martiskainen has worked with a range of conceptual approaches, including sustainability transitions, grassroots innovation, innovation intermediation, user innovation, and energy justice. She has worked with a range of stakeholders and partners, including community groups, not-for-profit organisations, businesses and consultants.

Dr. David Parra, Institute for Environmental Sciences (ISE) of the University of Geneva

Title: Community Energy Storage: Opportunities, Challenges and Perspectives.


David Parra is a senior researcher and teaching fellow at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) where he coordinates the energy storage research since 2016. He is also a PI in the Swiss Competence Centre for Heat and Electricity Storage in Switzerland, as well as visiting researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) since 2017, after receiving funding from the Swiss National Science Foundation to stablish a new collaboration.

He has expertise on renewable energy and storage technologies, systems and policy with a combination of both modelling and experimental experience which has proven to be useful for the successful deployment of pilot projects and engagement of consumers. His research is interdisciplinary in nature and incorporates technical, economic, environmental and social dimensions, with the latter being expanded at the moment. He has proved the ability to lead collaborations on projects and publications in Switzerland and abroad.

Before, David Parra was a Post-doc at the University of Geneva from 2014-2016. He obtained a PhD on energy storage for communities at University of Nottingham from 2010-2014, funded by E.ON and European Regional Development. Before that, he was a researcher on solar energy for heating and cooling at the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) from 2008-2010.

Last modified:17 November 2020 11.22 a.m.