Siddharth Sareen. Photo: Trygve Tollefsen, The Young Academy of Norway

Siddharth Sareen

India / Norway
University of Stavanger

Winner of the Nils Klim Prize

The 2024 Nils Klim Prize is awarded to Siddharth Sareen for his research in environmental social sciences.

The Nils Klim Committee recommends that Siddharth Sareen receive the 2024 Nils Klim Prize.

Siddharth Sareen is Professor of Energy and Environment in the Department of Media and Social Sciences at the University of Stavanger in Norway. He also holds a position as Professor II within the Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation at the University of Bergen.

In 2016, Sareen completed a double PhD degree in development studies (at the University of Copenhagen) and forest and nature management (at the University of Padua). He then went on to work as a visiting scholar and research fellow in the US, the UK, Norway, India, and Germany, strengthening his engagement with an array of research topics. In his more recent scholarly capacity at the Universities of Bergen and Stavanger, he has expanded his international reach and academic liaisons, in accord with the global and collaborative nature of his study areas.

In the course of his remarkable career, building on an interdisciplinary basis where the social sciences and humanities cross paths with technological as well as environmental sciences and challenges, Siddharth Sareen has established himself as a creative researcher and academic supervisor. He directs the Sustainability Transformation programme area at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Stavanger which has links to partner institutions both in Norway and abroad. His publishing record is highly impressive, especially given the range of his research topics, broadly covering governance of energy transitions of varying scales and in different environments. These topics involve the intricacies of sustainability and accountability, energy history, environmental justice, urban and non-urban geography, democratic grounding, and social inclusion.

Professor Sareen’s versatility and broad perspective are also reflected in how he pursues his projects, sometimes as a single researcher and author, but often as a member of a team, numbering from two to thirty-six. The latter is the case in an article, published in the journal Energy Research and Social Science in 2022, under the heading “Beyond technology: A research agenda for social sciences and humanities research on renewable energy in Europe”. This title is distinctive for Sareen’s academic pursuits, with the notable exception that his research also extends to sites beyond Europe. His work is exemplary for the global importance of critical and interactive relationships between fields of scholarship, technology, and industry in the vital search for renewable and sustainable sources of energy.

For all the reasons stated, Siddarth Sareen is a most worthy recipient of the 2024 Nils Klim Prize.

On behalf of the Nils Klim Committee,
Ástráður Eysteinsson, Chair

Siddharth Sareen (b. 1988)

Siddharth Sareen is an environmental social scientist with a background in development studies, political ecology, and human geography. He works on the governance of energy transitions at multiple scales in diverse contexts. His research spans the energy supply chain from extractive zones and energy generation to electricity distribution and energy end-use. He works in and across sectors such as solar energy, electricity grids, urban transport, and forestry, focusing on issues of political economy, digitalisation, institutional change, and accountability. His work is motivated by a keen desire to advance social and environmental equity and justice, with empirical engagement in India, Europe (especially Portugal and Norway), and more recently Uganda.

Educated at Krishnamurti Foundation schools, Sareen holds an integrated Master in Development Studies from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (2011), and a Double PhD from the University of Copenhagen and University of Padua (2016). He has held research positions at institutions in seven countries and supervised over four dozen postgraduates. During 2020-2024, he has founded and directed the Sustainability Transformation programme area with a large portfolio of thematic research projects at the University of Stavanger, where he holds a professorship in energy and environment and teaches on a Master programme in Energy, Environment and Society. He is Professor II at the Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation at the University of Bergen.

As a board member of the Young Academy of Norway and the Empowered Futures Research School, he engages actively in research policy and developing the next generation of social scientists to inform, engage with, and enact more inclusive and just energy futures. He has published in dozens of leading journals and edited several collections. His monograph The Sun also Rises in Portugal: Ambitions of just solar energy transitions will be published in 2024.