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Contracted Role: Researcher

Project: First Nations Involvement in Renewable Energy Industry: A Global Survey

Worldwide, governments have allocated USD 1.34 trillion to support the energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. These finances target the development of national solar, wind, and hydrological resources, as well as economically-depressed rural areas. One objective of the landmark US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022, for example, is to support renewable energy development by Native Americans on their reservations.

The IRA’s Tribal Energy Loan Guarantee Program provides USD 20 billion for energy development on tribal lands. Governments, Indigenous people, and renewable energy entrepreneurs around the world are developing similar state-funded legislation, initiatives, and incentives for the development of renewable energy on land governed by Indigenous and First Nations peoples. For instance, the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s Indigenous Community Infrastructure Initiative provides funding for First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities for revenue-generating renewable energy projects.

The European Commission has solicited proposals for the EU Renewable Energy Financing Mechanism which supports and privileges solar PV projects located in Lapland, Finland. In Australia, the government has funded the First Nations Clean Energy Strategy to investigate how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities can become involved in renewable energy. Clearly, disparities exist in funding and focus across different countries. As of yet, there is no global survey of government-support of Indigenous involvement in renewable energy projects. Without this, many governments, Indigenous people, and renewable energy entrepreneurs remain uninformed about the costs and benefits of state-funded legislation, initiatives, incentives, and mechanisms for energy transition.

This small project will fund a researcher to begin this global survey of state-support for First Nations involvement, ownership, and development in renewable energy industries on tribal and traditional lands. We solicit cover letters and CVs from researchers who can generate text-based synopses of relevant:

1) government legislation and initiatives

2) academic literature 

3) journalistic accounts

4) Indigenous and NGO reports

5) original interviews with stakeholders


Conceptually, we are interested in exploring this data through Indigenous studies and energy studies of relationality and justice.

The position will begin immediately, its duration will be two months, and the salary will be in accordance with standards for Australian researchers. Co-authorship and publication of findings is a possibility.

The researcher will be supervised by Jonathan Kneebone, Director Policy and Engagement at the First Nations Clean Energy Network and Dr. Adam Fish, School of the Arts and Media, University of New South Wales.

Please send your queries and application (cover letter and CV) to [email protected].

Deadline for submission is August 27, 2023.