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The Governance of Sustainable Energy Transitions in the Global South

Energy, Sustainability and Society welcomes submissions to the thematic series on 'The Governance of Sustainable Energy Transitions in the Global South'.

From 15 to 17 September 2019, fourteen scholars from eleven countries convened on the Campus of University of Ghana, Legon, in Accra, to discuss the governance of energy systems from a Global Southern perspective. The presentations covered a broad range of regional contexts with case studies mostly from West Africa (Ghana, Nigeria, Benin, Côte d'Ivoire) but also from East Africa (Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya) and South Africa. The scholars also drew on a wealth of different theoretical perspectives. However, the presentations shared commonalities, too. First, there was the emphasis on complex governance processes that are influenced by diverse sets of actors, not only within national boundaries but often far beyond (like e.g. US or European donor agencies or state-owned enterprises from China). The second thread of discussions addressed the often unanticipated ways in which everyday practices (e.g. in households or small enterprises) respond to changing energy policies. In contrast to the widespread expectation that energy systems could be governed in a comprehensive and systematic way, the empirical insights discussed at the workshop rather illustrated the multiple ways in which long-term strategies usually are superimposed and constrained by more ad-hoc and partly unintended dynamics. This certainly not only holds for African contexts, but the workshop demonstrated that there are distinct regional patterns in governance arrangements and some of these distinct realities are not yet properly reflected in scholarly analyses of energy governance.

The rich insights from the Accra workshop prompted us to propose a Special Issue under the title “The Governance of Sustainable Energy Transitions in the Global South”. The proposed collection of papers also strives to address some critical questions

The overall objective of this collection therefore is to motivate scholars to study the governance of SETs across the Global South and North.

Submission Instructions

Before submitting your manuscript, please ensure you have carefully read the submission guidelines for Energy, Sustainability and Society. The complete manuscript should be submitted through the Energy, Sustainability and Society submission system. To ensure that you submit to the correct thematic series please select the appropriate thematic series in the drop-down menu upon submission. In addition, indicate within your cover letter that you wish your manuscript to be considered as part of the thematic series on 'The Governance of Sustainable Energy Transitions in the Global South'. All submissions will undergo rigorous peer review and accepted articles will be published within the journal as a collection.

Lead Guest Editor

Philipp Späth, University of Freiburg, Germany

Guest Editors

Vanesa Castán Broto, University of Sheffield, UK 

Simon Bawakyillenuo, University of Ghana, Ghana

Michael Pregernig, University of Freiburg, Germany 

Submissions will also benefit from the usual advantages of open access publication:

  • Rapid publication: Online submission, electronic peer review and production make the process of publishing your article simple and efficient
  • High visibility and international readership in your field: Open access publication ensures high visibility and maximum exposure for your work - anyone with online access can read your article
  • No space constraints: Publishing online means unlimited space for figures, extensive data and video footage
  • Authors retain copyright, licensing the article under a Creative Commons license: articles can be freely redistributed and reused as long as the article is correctly attributed

For editorial enquiries please contact

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  1. Electricity infrastructures in sub-Saharan African cities are characterized by heterogeneous socio-technical constellations, including alternative grid access channels and off-grid systems. These constellation...

    Authors: Mathias Koepke, Jochen Monstadt and Francesca Pilo’
    Citation: Energy, Sustainability and Society 2023 13:23
  2. The great dependence on fuelwood due to demographic factors, logging, agricultural expansion and the repercussions of political instability, is presented for Côte d'Ivoire, as a contributor to forest degradati...

    Authors: Salimata Berte and Djané Dit Fatogoma Adou
    Citation: Energy, Sustainability and Society 2023 13:7
  3. Achieving climate targets will require a rapid transition to clean energy. However, renewable energy (RE) firms face financial, policy, and economic barriers to mobilizing sufficient investment in low-carbon t...

    Authors: Abdulrasheed Isah, Michael O. Dioha, Ramit Debnath, Magnus C. Abraham-Dukuma and Hemen Mark Butu
    Citation: Energy, Sustainability and Society 2023 13:2
  4. Building on the contributions to the article collection “The Governance of Sustainable Energy Transitions in the Global South “, this editorial offers a sketch for a research agenda on transitions research wit...

    Authors: Philipp Späth, Vanesa Castán Broto, Simon Bawakyillenuo and Michael Pregernig
    Citation: Energy, Sustainability and Society 2022 12:51
  5. Off-grid and decentralized energy systems have emerged as an alternative to facilitate energy access and resilience in a flexible, adaptable way, particularly for communities that do not have reliable access t...

    Authors: Mulualem G. Gebreslassie, Carlos Cuvilas, Collen Zalengera, Long Seng To, Idalina Baptista, Enora Robin, Getachew Bekele, Lorraine Howe, Carlos Shenga, Domingos A. Macucule, Joshua Kirshner, Yacob Mulugetta, Marcus Power, Sandy Robinson, David Jones and Vanesa Castán Broto
    Citation: Energy, Sustainability and Society 2022 12:23
  6. Digital technologies have unique characteristics for achieving radically disruptive transitions within the energy sector. They provide opportunities for new production and consumption models between micro-prod...

    Authors: Fortune Nwaiwu
    Citation: Energy, Sustainability and Society 2021 11:48
  7. In Ghana, energy transition as a research theme is new. It is unclear whether energy transition has occurred or not, and if so, in what form. This study sought to find out whether this transition has occurred ...

    Authors: Paul Osei-Tutu, Samuel Boadi and Vincent Kusi-Kyei
    Citation: Energy, Sustainability and Society 2021 11:47
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