School of Social and Political Science

Dr Kirsten E H Jenkins

Job Title

Senior Lecturer in Energy, Environment and Society

Kirsten Jenkins' Photo

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Building (Address)

Chisholm House

Street (Address)

High School Yards

City (Address)


Country (Address)


Post code (Address)


Research interests

Research interests

My research interests focus on all things “energy” and particularly, on the social justice issues created by its production and use. In the context of the energy transitions, I am interested in knowing how we can make ethically sound energy decisions that: (1) locate energy infrastructure equitably, where possible, (2) recognise the correct people and their needs, and (3) uses appropriate decision-making techniques. I believe that we should ask these questions across the energy system to ensure that no social groups are disadvantaged by our energy choices. To illustrate what I mean, do we acknowledge the rights of uranium mining and the impacts of it on foreign landscapes when we make the decision to proceed with nuclear energy in the UK? And given the comparatively high price for nuclear energy gained from the new Hinkley Point C reactor and others that will follow, have we considered how this will affect consumer affordability?

In order to ascertain the potential answers to these questions, I undertake both empirical and conceptual work looking at a range of case studies, including nuclear energy in the UK, Scottish wind energy and going forward, the implementation of smart technologies.

Recent Projects

Fuel and transport poverty in the UK’s energy transition (FAIR) (1/01/20 → 31/12/22): Through equity and justice investigations, this project examined the intersections between fuel and transport poverty, and low carbon energy transitions, in the United Kingdom.

Project team:

  • Dr Mari Martiskainen, University of Sussex (PI)
  • Professor Stefan Bouzarovski, University of Manchester
  • Dr Debbie Hopkins, University of Oxford
  • Dr Kirsten Jenkins, University of Edinburgh
  • Dr Paul McKenzie, University of Ulster
  • Dr Neil Simcock, Liverpool John Moores University
  • Professor Benjamin Sovacool, University of Sussex

INCLUsive Decarbonization and Energy transition (INCLUDE) (Starting 31/01/20): The goal of INCLUDE aims to develop knowledge-based solutions that can facilitate a just and socially inclusive low-carbon energy transition. Participatory processes involving municipalities, citizens and energy corporations – 23 different user-partners in total - will be a key part of the centre’s work. The centre will be led by Professor Tanja Winther of the University of Oslo (UiO), with six main research partners: The Fridtjof Nansen Institute (FNI), the Arctic University of Norway (UiT), CICERO Center for International Climate Research, The Institute of Transport Economics (TØI), OsloMet and Durham University, UK. I will be working with the Durham team.

Oil and Gas Transition: Building evidence for policy action in the UK, Norway and Denmark (15/01/21 → 15/04/23)

The grant aims to develop a better understanding of oil and gas transition scenarios for the North Sea region (Denmark, Norway and the UK), establish buy-in from key stakeholders and enable collaboration to scale up innovation and early-stage just transition efforts in the oil and gas sector.

Project team:

  • Dr Kirsten Jenkins, University of Edinburgh
  • Mr Navraj Ghaleigh Singh, University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Stuart Haszeldine, University of Edinburgh

PhD Topics

I am interested in supervising PhD applicants on topics related to energy justice, the Just Transition, energy policy and energy transitions, especially from a STIS (Science, Technology and Innovation Studies) analytical perspective.

Find out more about the programmes that I am involved with: (opening in new windows)

Current PhD Students

  • Lara Santos Ayllon, Ph.D. candidate. 'Justice and responsible research and innovation: Informing marine renewable and hydrogen innovation and deployment in island communities’ (First supervisor).

  • Rebecca Grant, Ph.D. candidate. ‘The geographies of energy justice: assessing the implications of social update in Kenya’. ESRC 1+3 Studentship (Second supervisor).

  • Yujia Ji, PhD. Candidate. The impact of the energy transition on poverty alleviation in developing countries in Asia during and after the COVID-19 pandemic” (Second supervisor).

  • Nicolas Silva, PhD. Candidate. “Participative and Collaborative Governance in Chile and Peru: An Energy Perspective”. Chilean Government (Second supervisor).

  • Kaja Horn, PhD. Candidate. “Transformative Skills in the Energy Just Transition: Mixed-methods Pathways for Upskilling, Reskilling and Engaging New Entrants in Scotland”. ESRC and Skills Development Scotland collaborative studentship (First supervisor).

  • Mathilde Rainard, PhD. Candidate. "Fairness implications of low carbon energy policies in the UK and France, an intersectional approach". Centre for Research in Energy Demand Solutions (External Supervisor for University of Leeds).

  • Dr Lillian Sol Cueva, completed. ‘Women's imaginaries: Futuring energy in Mexico City's Public Markets' (External Supervisor for Erasmus University of Rotterdam) (Completed).

    Dr. Lee Towers, completed. “Energy justice, energy democracy and low-carbon transitions: a governmentality analysis of community energy in the UK”. (2nd supervisor, University of Brighton) (Completed).

  • Dr Adolfo Mejia-Montero, Ph.D. candidate. 'Energy justice and utility-scale wind power in the Isthmus: Context, Resistance and Identity' (Completed).


Dr Kirsten Jenkins is Senior Lecturer in Energy, Environment and Society within the Science, Technology and Innovation Studies (STIS) group of the School of Social and Political Sciences. Kirsten is also the Programme Director for the cross-college Energy, Society and Sustainability MSc programme, which is run in partnership with the School of Geosciences.

Kirsten’s background is as a sustainable development and human geography scholar, with research and teaching interests that centre on energy justice; just transitions; energy policy; science, technology and innovations studies; transitions theory and sustainable energy provision and use.

Prior to joining STIS, Kirsten held positions as a Lecturer in Human Geography and Sustainable Development within the School of Environment and Technology (SET) at the University of Brighton and as a Research Fellow in Energy Justice in the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand (CIED), part of the Science and Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at the University of Sussex. Kirsten defended her Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded Ph.D. at the University of St Andrews in December 2016.

As additional responsibilities, Kirsten coordinates the 2500-member Energy and Social Science Network and the Energy Justice JISC mailing list. She also serves as Managing Editor for the journal Energy Research & Social Science and Associate Fellow of the Durham Energy Institute at the University of Durham.

Kirsten has published extensively in the fields of energy and social science and has worked on projects funded by the RCUK Energy Programme, Norwegian Research Council, CREDS and the ESRC. She is external examiner to postgraduate programmes in Development, Environment and Policy at SOAS University of London and a member of the Scottish Government's Fuel Poverty Advisory Panel.

Undergraduate Teaching

Her primary responsibility is to convene the honours-level Energy Policy and Sustainability course. She also contributes guest lectures to Science, Nature and Environment and Investigating Science in Society.

Postgraduate Teaching

Kirsten is Programme Director for the MSc in Energy, Society and Sustainability.  She coordinates the dissertation process and contributes to the Energy, Policy and Politics and Energy & Society 2 courses. 

You can find all of her publications on Google Scholar, ResearchGate or PURE. If you'd like access to a particular file, please do email Kirsten directly.

Staff Hours and Guidance

Please email directly for an appointment (with or without bonus terriers).

Publications by user content

Publication Research Explorer link
Upham P, Simcock N, Sovacool B, Torres Contreras GA, Jenkins K, Martiskainen M. Public support for decarbonisation policies: Between self-interest and social need for alleviating energy and transport poverty in the United Kingdom. Energy and Climate Change. 2023 Dec;4:100099. Epub 2023 Feb 17. doi: 10.1016/j.egycc.2023.100099
Osička J, Szulecki K, Jenkins KEH. Energy justice and energy democracy: Separated twins, rival concepts or just buzzwords? Energy Research & Social Science. 2023 Oct;104:103266. Epub 2023 Sept 6. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2023.103266
Thøis Madsen P, Severin Hansen D, Sperling K, Houeland C, Jenkins KEH. Abandoning fossil fuel production: What can be learned from the Danish phase-out of oil and gas? Energy Research & Social Science. 2023 Sept;103:1-8. 103211. Epub 2023 Aug 3. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2023.103211
Martiskainen M, Hopkins D, Torres Contreras GA, Jenkins KEH, Mattioli G, Simcock N et al. Eating, heating or taking the bus? Lived experiences at the intersection of energy and transport poverty. Global Environmental Change. 2023 Sept;82:102728. Epub 2023 Jul 19. doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2023.102728
Mejia-Montero A, Jenkins K. Whole-systems energy justice. In Bouzarovski S, Fuller S, Reames T, editors, Handbook on Energy Justice. Edward Elgar Publishing. 2023. p. 13-24. (Elgar Handbooks in Energy, the Environment and Climate Change). doi: 10.4337/9781839102967.00009
Mejia-Montero A, Jenkins KEH, van der Horst D, Lane M. An intersectional approach to energy justice: Individual and collective concerns around wind power on Zapotec land. Energy Research & Social Science. 2023 Mar 8;98:1-15. 103015. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2023.103015
Sovacool B, Upham P, Martiskainen M, Jenkins KEH, Torres Contreras GA, Simcock N. Policy prescriptions to address energy and transport poverty in the United Kingdom. Nature Energy. 2023 Mar 1;8(3):273-283. Epub 2023 Feb 6. doi: 10.1038/s41560-023-01196-w
Santos Ayllon L, Jenkins K. Energy justice, just transitions and Scottish energy policy: A re-grounding of theory in policy practice. Energy Research & Social Science. 2023 Feb;96:102922. Epub 2022 Dec 29. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2022.102922
Jenkins KEH. Oil and gas just transitions: An introduction to the Special Issue. Climate Policy. 2023;23(9):1079-1086. Epub 2023 Nov 30. doi: 10.1080/14693062.2023.2283928
Muinzer TL, Jenkins KEH, McCauley DA, Little GM. Energy justice beyond Borders? Exploring the impact of Brexit on Ireland's all-island energy market. The Electricity Journal. 2022 Dec;35(10):107218. Epub 2022 Nov 25. doi: 10.1016/j.tej.2022.107218
Jenkins K, Ghaleigh NS, Haszeldine RS, Sihota A. Living in the Present, Making the Future: UK Scenarios for the Phase-out of Oil and Gas. 2022. 36 p.
Abram S, Atkins E, University B, Jenkins K, Kiamba L, Kirshner J et al. Just Transition: A whole-systems approach to decarbonisation. Climate Policy. 2022 Aug 9;1-17. doi: 10.1080/14693062.2022.2108365
Sovacool BK, Axsen J, Delina LL, Boudet HS, Rai V, Sidortsov R et al. Towards codes of practice for navigating the academic peer review process. Energy Research & Social Science. 2022 Jul;89:102675. Epub 2022 Jun 7. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2022.102675
Snell C, Scott M, Jenkins K, Kennedy K, Thomson H, Yenneti K et al. Climate justice, social policy and the transition to net zero in the UK. In Jolly A, Cefalo R, Pomati M, editors, Social Policy Review 34: Analysis and Debate in Social Policy, 2022. Policy Press. 2022. p. 5-23
Mejia-Montero A, Jenkins K. Justice in low-carbon transitions: Energy justice, just transitions and utility-scale wind power in Oaxaca, Mexico. In Frauke U, Nordensvärd J, editors, Handbook on Climate Change and Technology. Edward Elgar Publishing. 2022
Simcock N, Jenkins KEH, Lacey-Barnacle M, Martiskainen M, Mattioli G, Hopkins D. Identifying double energy vulnerability: A systematic and narrative review of groups at-risk of energy and transport poverty in the global north. Energy Research & Social Science. 2021 Dec;82:102351. Epub 2021 Nov 8. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2021.102351
Martiskainen M, Jenkins KEH, Bouzarovski S, Hopkins D, Mattioli G, Lacey-Barnacle M. A spatial whole systems justice approach to sustainability transitions. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions. 2021 Nov 10. Epub 2021 Nov 10. doi: 10.1016/j.eist.2021.10.030
Ghaleigh NS, Haszeldine S, Jenkins K, Bucke C, Fairhurst K, Sihota A et al. The Future is Built on the Past: Just Industrial and Energy Transitions in the UK and Scotland. 2021. 45 p.
Mejia-Montero A, Lane M, van Der Horst D, Jenkins KEH. Grounding the energy justice lifecycle framework: An exploration of utility-scale wind power in Oaxaca, Mexico. Energy Research & Social Science. 2021 May;75:102017. Epub 2021 Mar 17. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2021.102017
Melin A, Day R, Jenkins KEH. Energy justice and the capability approach—Introduction to the Special Issue. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities. 2021 Apr 14;22(2):185-196. Epub 2021 Apr 14. doi: 10.1080/19452829.2021.1909546
Melin A, (ed.), Day R, (ed.), Jenkins KEH, (ed.). Energy justice and the capability approach. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities. 2021 Apr 14;22(2):185-378. Epub 2021 Apr 14.
Jenkins K, Sovacool BK, Mouter N, Hacking N, Burns MK, McCauley D. The methodologies, geographies, and technologies of energy justice: A systematic and comprehensive review. Environmental Research Letters. 2021 Mar 30;16(4):1-25. 043009. doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/abd78c
Martiskainen M, Sovacool BK, Lacey-Barnacle M, Hopkins D, Jenkins KEH, Simcock N et al. New dimensions of vulnerability to energy and transport poverty. Joule. 2021 Jan 20;5(1):3-7. Epub 2020 Dec 18. doi: 10.1016/j.joule.2020.11.016
Jenkins K, Sovacool B, Błachowicz A, Lauer A. Politicising the Just Transition: Linking global climate policy, Nationally Determined Contributions and targeted research agendas. Geoforum. 2020 Aug 19;115:138-142. Epub 2020 May 25. doi: 10.1016/j.geoforum.2020.05.012
Jenkins K, Spruit S, Milchram C, Höffken J, Taebi B. Synthesizing value sensitive design, responsible research and innovation, and energy justice: A conceptual review. Energy Research & Social Science. 2020 Aug 13;69:101727. Epub 2020 Aug 13. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2020.101727
Sovacool B, Bergman N, Hopkins D, Jenkins K, Hielscher S, Goldthau A et al. Imagining sustainable energy and mobility transitions: Valence, temporality, and radicalism in 38 visions of a low-carbon future. Social Studies of Science. 2020 May 6. Epub 2020 May 6. doi: 10.1177/0306312720915283
Jenkins K, Stephens J, Reames T, Hernandez D. Towards impactful energy justice research: Transforming the power of academic engagement. Energy Research & Social Science. 2020 Mar 24;67:101510. Epub 2020 Mar 24. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2020.101510
Bombaerts G, (ed.), Jenkins K, (ed.), Sanusi Y, (ed.), Guoyu W, (ed.). Energy Justice Across Borders. 1st ed. Springer, 2019. 305 p. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-24021-9
Bombaerts G, Jenkins K, Sanusi YA, Guoyu W. Expanding ethics justice across borders: The role of global philosophy. In Bombaerts G, Jenkins K, Sanusi YA, Guoyu W, editors, Energy Justice Across Borders. 1st ed. Springer. 2019. p. 3-21 doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-24021-9_1
Monyei CG, Jenkins KEH, Monyei CG, Aholu OC, Akpeji KO, Oladeji O et al. Response to Todd, De Groot, Mose, McCauley and Heffron's critique of “Examining energy sufficiency and energy mobility in the global south through the energy justice framework”. Energy Policy . 2019 Oct;133:110917. Epub 2019 Aug 26. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2019.110917
Jenkins K, Samarakoon S, Munro P. Energy economics as an energy justice dilemma: Case studies of normative trade-offs in Malawi, Mexico and Germany. In Soytaş U, Sarı R, editors, Routledge Handbook of Energy Economics. 1 ed. London: Routledge. 2019. p. 317-327
Jenkins KEH, Taebi B. Multinational energy justice for managing multinational risks: A case study of nuclear waste repositories. Risk, Hazards and Crisis in Public Policy. 2019 Jun 24;10(2):176-196. Epub 2019 Feb 27. doi: 10.1002/rhc3.12162
Jonathan K, Geels F, Kern F, Markard J, Onsongo E, Wieczorek A et al. An agenda for sustainability transitions research: State of the art and future directions. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions. 2019 Jan 31;31:1-32. doi: 10.1016/j.eist.2019.01.004
Jenkins KEH. Energy justice, energy democracy, and sustainability: Normative approaches to the consumer ownership of renewables. In Lowitzsch J, editor, Energy Transition: Financing Consumer Co-Ownership in Renewables. 1st ed. Springer. 2019. p. 79-97 doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-93518-8_4
Monyei CG, Sovacool BK, Brown MA, Jenkins KEH, Viriri S, Li Y. Justice, poverty, and electricity decarbonization. The Electricity Journal. 2019 Jan;32(1):47-51. Epub 2019 Jan 22. doi: 10.1016/j.tej.2019.01.005
Sovacool BK, Kivimaa P, Hielscher S, Jenkins K. Further reflections on vulnerability and resistance in the United Kingdom's smart meter transition. Energy Policy . 2019 Jan;124:411-417. Epub 2018 Aug 31. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2018.08.038
Monyei C, Jenkins K. Electrons have no identity: Setting right misrepresentations in Google and Apple’s clean energy purchasing. Energy Research & Social Science. 2018 Dec;46:48-51. Epub 2018 Jun 28. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2018.06.015
Jenkins K, (ed.), Hopkins D, (ed.). Transitions in Energy Efficiency and Demand: The Emergence, Diffusion and Impact of Low-Carbon Innovation. 1 ed. Routledge, 2018. 280 p. (Routledge Studies in Energy Transitions).
Monyei C, Adewumi AO, Jenkins K. Energy (in)justice in off-grid rural electrification policy: South Africa in focus. Energy Research & Social Science. 2018 Oct;44:152-171. Epub 2018 May 15. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2018.05.002
Monyei C, Jenkins K, Viriri S, Adewumi AO. Policy discussion for sustainable integrated electricity expansion in South Africa. Energy Policy. 2018 Sept;120:132-143. Epub 2018 May 26. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2018.05.021
Monyei C, Jenkins K, Serestina V, Adewumi AO. Examining energy sufficiency and energy mobility in the global south through the energy justice framework. Energy Policy. 2018 Aug;119:68-76. Epub 2018 Apr 24. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2018.04.026
Jenkins K, Sovacool B, McCauley D. Humanizing sociotechnical transitions through energy justice: An ethical framework for global transformative change. Energy Policy. 2018 Jun;117:66-74. Epub 2018 Mar 8. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2018.02.036
Jenkins K. Setting energy justice apart from the crowd: Lessons from environmental and climate justice. Energy Research & Social Science. 2018 May;39:117-121. Epub 2017 Nov 21. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2017.11.015
Sovacool BK, Kivimaa P, Hielscher S, Jenkins K. Corrigendum to “Vulnerability and resistance in the United Kingdom's smart meter transition” [Energy Policy 109 (2017) 767–781](S0301421517304688)(10.1016/j.enpol.2017.07.037). Energy Policy . 2018 Feb;113:52. Epub 2017 Nov 21. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2017.10.061
Geels F, Schwanen T, Jenkins K, Sorrell S. Reducing energy demand through low carbon innovation: A sociotechnical transitions perspective and thirteen research debates. Energy Research & Social Science. 2017 Dec 22;40:23-35. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2017.11.003
Sovacool B, Kivimaa P, Hielscher S, Jenkins K. Vulnerability and resistance in the United Kingdom's smart meter transition. Energy Policy. 2017 Oct;109:767-781. Epub 2017 Aug 8. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2017.07.037
Jenkins K, McCauley D, Warren C. Attributing responsibility for energy justice: A case study of the Hinkley Point Nuclear Complex. Energy Policy. 2017 Sept;108:836-843. Epub 2017 May 30. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2017.05.049
Jenkins K, McCauley D, Forman A. Energy justice: A policy approach. Energy Policy. 2017 Feb 3;105:631-634. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2017.01.052
Jenkins K, McCauley D, Heffron R, Stephan H, Rehner R. Energy justice: A conceptual review. Energy Research & Social Science. 2016 Jan;11:174-182. Epub 2015 Oct 29. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2015.10.004
Heffron RJ, Johnston A, McCauley D, Jenkins K. Policy delivery for low carbon energy infrastructure in the UK, April 5th 2013: Conference overview. Energy Policy . 2013 Oct;61:1367-1369. Epub 2013 Jun 21. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.05.094