UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources

Dr Xavier Lemaire

Dr Xavier Lemaire

Senior Research Associate

Bartlett School Env, Energy & Resources

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
1st Aug 2011

Research summary

Xavier is a sociologist and a socio-economist who has been working as a practitioner and a researcher on energy and environmental issues, mainly in the Global South, for last 20 years.

His research interests are linked to the politics of sustainability transitions, notably: Sociology of energy access and clean energy transition. The political ecology of large infrastructure and conservation projects. Environmental and energy justice. Climate change policies and the transition to low-carbon societies. Discourses of development and the social imaginary of Progress.

Xavier has a MSc in Management (Sorbonne), postgraduate degrees in development studies (Sorbonne) and a Master in policy analysis (Dauphine) and a PhD in sociology (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales - Paris).

Teaching summary

Xavier was a lecturer in Universities of Paris in Socio-Economics, Management and Sociology of Organisations (1998-2002). He was also a visiting lecturer for the module energy regulation of the Warwick Business School Global Energy MBA and on rural electrification with renewables at the School of Engineering - University of Birmingham  (2009-2012).

He supervises PhD and Master students working on energy access in Africa and on environmental conflicts linked to infrastructure and mining projects.


Ecole des hautes etudes en sciences sociales
Doctorate, Doctorat | 2000
Universite Pantheon-Sorbonne (Paris I)
Other higher degree, Diplome d'Etudes Superieures Specialisees | 1990
Universite Paris-Dauphine (Paris IX)
Other higher degree, Diplome d'etudes approfondies | 1989
Universite Pantheon-Sorbonne (Paris I)
Other higher degree, Master of Science | 1988


Xavier is a senior research associate at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources  / Energy Institute / (2011-today). Previously he was a research fellow at  the Centre for Management under Regulation - Warwick Business School (2005-2011) and a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the Centre For Research in Ethnic Relations - University of Warwick (2003-2004).

He is currently the Principal Investigator of a:

- UKRI GCRF funded research on "Energy Democracy and the Politics of Energy Transition in African countries";
- GCRF British Academy funded research on "Large Water Projects and Conflicted Territorial Identities in sub-Saharan Africa: The Case of the Development of the Senegal River".

From 2013 till September 2018, he was the Acting Principal Investigator of two international EPSRC-DFID-DECC research projects:

 - Supporting African Municipalities with Sustainable Energy Transitions (SAMSET)
 - Sustainable Thermal Energy Service Partnerships (STEPs)

From 2005 till 2013, he established the Sustainable Energy Regulation Network (SERN) for the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), an initiative funded by the Foreign Commonwealth Office.

Xavier conducted a PhD thesis on the decision-making process in the implementation of large infrastructure and territorial development projects in French Guiana linked to the colonial history of this French overseas department. This research was followed by a Marie Curie Research Fellowship at the Centre for Research in Ethnic Relations - University of Warwick on cultural identities, infrastructure, development and biodiversity conservation projects in Guyana and French Guiana (2003-2004). He was part of an international comparative research project on air quality indicators in European cities. He previously worked as a project officer on rural electrification with solar photovoltaic systems and energy efficiency programmes in French Guiana and also worked as an independent consultant (1992-1997).