Road-side solar shop in Nkhata Bay, Malawi

Road-side solar shop in Nkhata Bay, Malawi

As a researcher, my current interests lie in the emerging, interdisciplinary field of energy justice. It is a response to the fact that discourse about energy has long been dominated by technical fields such as science, engineering, statistics and economics. To address this lacuna, energy justice applies social and environmental rights across all components of an energy system (from extraction through to disposal). Beyond the technical, the field seeks to develop an understanding of the issues of justice that are entangled in energy systems. At it’s core, energy justice is concerned with three forms of justice - distributive, recognition and procedural. Put simply, it concerns questions relating to how the benefits and harms of energy systems are distributed across populations (distributive justice), whose voices are recognized in decision-making about energy systems (recognition justice), and whether decision making processes about energy systems are inclusive (procedural justice).

I am currently a PhD candidate at UNSW Australia. My research question centers on “how issues of energy justice are entangled in the adoption of household solar systems in Northern Malawi”. I’ll be exploring issues such as affordability, product quality, household solar literacy, and e-waste.

I’m always keen to connect with academics who share similar interests (energy, development, geography) and explore avenues for collaboration. You can reach me at s.samarakoon@unsw.edu.au

Publications

Journal Articles

  • Samarakoon, S., Christiansen, A., Munro, P.G, (2017), “Equitable and Quality Education for All of Africa? The Challenges of Using ICT in Education”, Perspectives on Global Development and Technology, Vol.16(6), pp.645-665, https://doi.org/10.1163/15691497-12341454

Book Chapters

  • K Jenkins, S Samarakoon, and P G Munro, “Energy economics as an energy justice dilemma: Case studies of normative trade-offs in Malawi, Mexico and Germany” in R Sara and U Soyta (eds) Routledge Handbook of Energy Economics: (Routledge, 2019): forthcoming