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 in the Global South for last 20 years.

His research interests are on: Sociology of energy access. The delivery of energy services in rural areas and in urban informal settlements. Politics of clean energy. 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 students working on energy access in Africa and Master students on renewable energies or environmental conflicts linked to infrastructure 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).

Starting in October 2018, he is the Principal Investigator of a 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". This two-year research is conducted in Senegal with IFAN, Cheikh Anta Diop University (Dakar).

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

 - a  5-year research project called Supporting African Municipalities with Sustainable Energy Transitions (SAMSET) on developing an exchange framework to facilitate the implementation of energy transition and access to basic infrastructures in Africa's Sub-Saharan urban areas. This project has been conducted with municipalities in South Africa, Uganda and Ghana.

 - a 4-year research project called Sustainable Thermal Energy Service Partnerships (STEPs) on developing a sustainable pro-poor public private partnership model for delivering clean and safe thermal energy services (clean cookstoves, solar water heating, Liquified Petroleum Gas, biogas) in developing countries.

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. For this network, he coordinated an annual energy policy review and conducted research on energy policies and regulation in developing countries: energy access and large-scale dissemination of solar home systems in rural areas of developing countries; electrification policies and off-grid regulation; the implementation of feed-in tariff policies in emerging countries

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).