FNI Director Iver B. Neumann is enthusiastic:

‘ We at the FNI are thrilled to announce that Siddharth Sareen, a professor at the University of Stavanger, will join us as senior FNI researcher this August. Sareen has established himself as a prominent figure in social science research on energy transition, and his broad range of interests align well with our research areas.’ 

Energy Transition Governance

The productive social geographer Siddharth Sareen (born 1988) has quickly delved into many aspects of energy research in the course of his career. His areas of expertise range from a more just energy transition to national and international environmental governance and climate and energy policy.

He has previously worked with sectors such as energy, forestry, mining, and transport. He is particularly interested in climate policy, especially in relation to carbon emissions and international goals. In June, he will publish a book on just solar power in Portugal. 

Sareen explains: Siddharth Sareen Bergen Opportunity‘When I saw the job posting at FNI, I thought it was a dream job. The position resonates very well with the direction I want to take my research. The FNI has one of the largest groups of researchers working on how governments can facilitate a green transition, and on natural resources.’ 

‘ I see this position as offering an excellent opportunity work at the intersection of pure basic research on the one hand – and research that is highly policy-relevant and can influence policy development. Creating the knowledge base on which policy can be built feels meaningful.’

Lars Gulbrandsen, Deputy Director and Research Director for Climate and Energy at FNI, is proud: 

‘Having Siddharth join the FNI means a lot to us. He will strengthen our research on energy policy, energy transition, and a just green transition. He works within the broad and important field of energy research and policy. Additionally, we are pleased to have a researcher with expertise on India, the world's largest democracy and most populous country.’

Just Climate Transition

At the FNI, Sareen will take part in ongoing projects such as POWERPOOR, SOLNOR, and POWREG. He will also continue as a Professor II at the University of Bergen's Center for Climate and Energy Transition (CET).

 ‘I want to help to build bridges between research communities that have a lot in common and much to learn from each other, explains Sareen, who believes it is important to be aware of and break down the ‘silos’ that exist in various sectors. 

‘To succeed in achieving a just, green shift, we must think across sectors, in the short and long term, and bearing in mind the many different interests and values’. Here he notes the opportunities within an initiative like the Empowered Futures Research School, where the FNI is also involved.

Siddharth Sareen comes from India but has lived in the Nordic region for over a decade. When he packs his bags in Stavanger to move to Oslo, it is together with his partner, child, and their dog.

‘For us, one of the most important reasons for settling down in the Nordic region is the flat structure and the Nordic culture of equality. This is what I want to be reflected also in societies around the world when it comes to energy transition. I believe the FNI is a good place to be to make that happen.’

Prestigious Research Prize Winner

Nils Klim-prisen deles ut sammen med Holberg-prisen i Bergen. We are also pleased to announce that he is this year's winner of the Nils Klim Prize. This prize is organized in conjunction with the Holberg Prize and is awarded to younger researchers (under age 35) in the Nordic countries, for outstanding contributions in the fields of humanities, social sciences, law, and theology.

Sareen has been awarded the prize for his significant research contributions at the intersection of social sciences, the humanities, technology, and climate science. 

The awards committee notes that Siddharth Sareen's outstanding career is built on an interdisciplinary basis where social sciences and humanities meet technology and climate science; further, that he has established himself as a creative researcher and academic supervisor. They add that his publications list is very impressive, showing expertise that includes issues related to the governance of energy transition at various levels and environments, and complex topics such as sustainability and responsibility, energy history, climate justice, urban and non-urban geography, democracy, and social inclusion.


Sareen adds: ‘I am grateful and humbled to have won the prize. For me, this provides an opportunity to shed light on a field of study that deserves more attention. And it makes me aware of my responsibility as a researcher.’ 

He explains that receiving the prize instills in him a profound motivation to extend his pursuits and obligations in research, and notes the prize has given him the opportunity to reflect on his own role as a researcher and to recognize the importance of shared goals and capacity building:

‘In an unjust world where we must deal with many important issues simultaneously, I work to bring forth knowledge that can help decision-makers give priority to working for a better, more inclusive and just energy future.’ 

For almost four years, Sareen has been an active member of the Young Academy of Norway (YAN), where he serves on the board. In 2023, he was honored with a prestigious prize from the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters (DKNVS), awarded to outstanding young researchers in Norway who demonstrate exceptional talent, originality, and dedication in their field. The YAN experience has provided Sareen with valuable insights into the Norwegian academic world, opening doors for collaborative endeavors and contributions to Norwegian research policy.

Sareen aims to use his research to foster innovative ideas and practical knowledge that can drive action. In his own words: ‘Knowledge that benefits all and addresses the societal challenge of transitioning to lower-carbon energy systems.’


By Anna Valberg