Research Departments・Position
Global Humanosphere
Program-Specific Faculty
Geography, Political Ecology
Research Interests / Keywords
resource geographies, energy transition, nature-society relations, financialisation, environmental governance


Japan in transition: Energy security, geopolitics, and the making of a hydrogen society

The purpose of this research is to examine the politico-economic and socio-technical interventions that will shape the transition to a hydrogen society in Japan, and its regional and global implications. Specifically, it will look at inter-state and state-firm strategies that structure the difference segments of production, storage, transportation and utilisation comprising the hydrogen supply chain. Japan is a front runner in the development of hydrogen and in recent years, it has undertaken radical steps to realise its vision of a ‘hydrogen society.’This is presently occurring through a series of policy, financial, and technical directives and instruments.

Focusing on ongoing pilot projects, e.g. HySTRA, AHEAD, this research will seek to analyse 1. how hydrogen is made viable, scalable and renewable, with a quantitative and qualitative focus on the specific ways that diverse players, i.e. private actors, institutions and states mediate these processes; 2. What new geopolitical relations will arise and what will be the consequences as a result of these projects; and 3. If these provide a viable template to help create the concrete foundations for a ‘hydrogen society.’

Carbon lock-in, energy regime change and prospects for coal phase-out in the Philippine electricity sector

This research takes a transdisciplinary approach to understanding energy transition in the Philippines and the broader East/Southeast Asian region. Looking in particular at the dynamics of coal phase-out, it aims to shed light on the conditions that impede the shift to low carbon sources in the power generation mix. It will map out the key actors and interests, nationally and regionally, that are implicated in the production and use of coal for electricity generation; identify the sources of socio-economic and biophysical ‘lock-ins’; and recommend solutions to facilitate the shift away from coal dependence. Moving beyond current understanding of transition as mainly, if not exclusively, a technological shift, the social relations of power that underpin such a process, i.e. that preserve the dominance of the incumbent fossil fuel energy regime, will be a key focus of analysis.