Considerable challenges remain today regarding Europe´s transition towards a decarbonised energy system that meets the economic and social needs of its citizens. Rebound effects, that is, a full or partial cancelling-out of efficiency gains over time through increased overall energy use, highlight the centrality of consumption in multi-scalar decarbonisation efforts, urgently requiring attention from scientists and policy makers. Calls also abound for innovative, research-led programmes to enhance the social acceptability of energy transition measures that involve new technologies. Understanding individual and collective energy choices, the governance frameworks in which these choices are made, and the key role of consumers’ culture-specific views and practices is of paramount importance for the success of the Energy Union. The persistence of diverse energy cultures, both within and between countries, and their impacts on energy consumption practices deserve particular attention.
ENERGISE responds directly to these challenges by providing frontier social science that focuses on socio-economic, cultural, political and gender aspects of the energy transition.
Extensive synthesis and classification work covering good practice examples of energy initiatives from 30 European countries will provide the foundation for a cutting-edge Living Labs approach designed specifically for ENERGISE. Fusing tools for changing individual- and community-level energy consumption with a novel method for energy sustainability assessment, the ENERGISE Living Labs will be rolled out and monitored in eight European countries. Importantly, ENERGISE offers timely support for public- and private-sector decision makers seeking effective measures for ‘greening’ and/or reducing energy consumption.
under the Horizon 2020 programme.
NUI Galway is leading 10 partners across Europe:
- National University of Ireland, Galway, IE
- Aalborg University, DK
- Kingston University London, UK
- Maastricht University, NL
- University of Geneva, CH
- GreenDependent Institute, HU
- Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, DE
- Focus Drustvo Za Sonaraven Razvoj, SL
- Applied Research and Communications Fund, BG
- National Consumer Research Centre, University of Helsinki, FI