Dr Komalirani YENNETI (India)

Komali has extensive research, policy and advocacy experience in climate change adaptation and mitigation and energy, and is helping create sustainable communities and cities in the Asia Pacific. Her current research involves more than 25 government and industry partners as full partners to co-create solutions for improving living conditions of people and to develop knowledge exchange partnerships for achieving the sustainable development goals.

PhD in Geography and Environmental Sciences

Current position: Lecturer and Program Leader, School of Architecture and Built Environment, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Wolverhampton, United Kingdom

Research focus: energy transitions and sustainable cities and communities

Komali has served in research, advocacy and advisory capacities for The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Das Deutsche Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE), Chinese Academy of Sciences, LandCom University Roundtable, Australia India Institute and the Commonwealth Youth Climate Network (CYCN). She is keen on early career researcher development, and is the founding chair of International Geographical Union’s Young and Early-Career Geographers Task Force.

2018-2020 Estimation of Coastal vulnerability of South Asia, Global Challenges Research Fund UK Research and Innovation (two-year research grant)
2018-2019 Knowledge Exchange on ‘Smart Energy Management’ for Sustainable Cities, UNSW-India Research Fund-Seed Grants (one-year research grant)
2018 Knowledge Exchange on ‘Climate-Smart Cities’, UNSW BE Early Career Researcher Grants (one-year research grant)
2018 Knowledge Exchange on ‘Data-Augmented Design’ for Sustainable Cities, UNSW-Tsinghua University Collaborative Research Fund-Seed Grants (one-year research grant)
2018 ‘Parramatta Urban Overheating and Mitigation’, Parramatta City Council, Research Contract (one-year research grant)
2018-2019 ‘Mapping the Decision-Making Processes by Market Segments to Identify Barriers and Drivers to Meet or Exceed the BASIX Requirements of New Builds’, Energy Efficiency Decision Making Node a joint initiative by CRCLCL and NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (one-year research grant)
2016 Chinese Academy of Sciences President’s International Fellowship Initiative (two-year research grant)
2016 National Natural Science Foundation of China (one-year research grant)

CV as submitted for the Green Talents award (2012):

School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

Research focus: socio-political dimensions of the implementation of renewable energy (solar) projects

A PhD candidate in Geography and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, Komalirani Yenneti’s groundbreaking research on the socio-political dimensions of renewable energy projects highlights the local challenges associated with implementation and the social factors that play a role in the diffusion of renewable energy technologies.

Renewable energy (RE) technologies have the power to drive the transition towards greener urban economies and provide technological solutions for un-electrified rural areas around the world. But solutions for actually implementing such RE technologies are not always obvious. As part of her doctoral research, Komalirani Yenneti is investigating the socio-political dimensions of renewable energy projects, including practices and processes involved in the implementation of solar power policies. Her thesis – ‘Social justice implications and implementation of solar energy in India’ – considers issues such as social acceptance, equity, social justice and livelihood implications of solar energy projects. “My field work has uncovered some very real local challenges to the implementation of large-scale RE in India,” says Yenneti. “The social factor is significant for the diffusion of RE technologies.”

Formerly she worked on energy efficiency and framing green building bye laws for various Indian cities as a researcher at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), India, before commencing her PhD. She has widely published, including a book on ‘carbon financing and composting’ and in the ‘2nd edition of the Encyclopedia of Global Warming and Climate Change’.

The Green Talents jury highlighted Yenneti's work at the interface between climate and social issues as well as her keen understanding of factors necessary for technology implementation. In addition to her academic record of scholarships, awards and international fellowship programmes, Yenneti’s professional experience includes several public advocacy achievements and extensive involvement in community organisations and grass roots initiatives. The jury was very impressed with her overall approach to research and ability to draw on her broad experience to build international networks.