aim at supporting inclusive and sustainable societies in and outside Europe, as well as long-term strategies for security of energy supply and related concerns.
Two major challenges are impending upon Europe's energy future: the achievement of a secure energy supply, and a move from dependency on non-renewable to a reliance on renewable energy sources. The challenges call for energy transitions: changes that concern entire energy systems, not just some of their parts. These changes are structural, as they modify the way energy provision is organized at the level of society. They are radical, since they may demand abandoning existing technologies even if they still work. And the changes are fundamental, because they require that we start thinking in novel ways about energy, its provision, and how a good and just society is organized around energy.
Transitions do not only pose technological challenges, but involve enormous social, political and economic changes as well. Changes concern market relations, social and institutional roles and responsibilities, and the emergence of new actors. Most policy documents and future visions focus on economic, geo-political and technological changes. Insofar as social processes are concerned, they are discussed at an aggregate and undifferentiated way: as a human factor, which is at best the receiver of policies and economic transactions, and at worst a residual category containing the overflows of economic and technological interventions. However, this human factor deserves more substantive attention: much more light is to be shed on people and the many roles they take.
People are an important resource of relevant knowledge. Because of the far-reaching consequences of energy transitions, it is vital to make use of the widest possible range of knowledge: not only technological and scientific expertise, but also local, practical and even tacit knowledge, knowledge created by civil society, and anticipatory perspectives on how society should be organized. First, this wide range of knowledge is needed to identify problems and threats to secure and low-carbon energy provision. Second, it is needed to project and implement necessary changes. And third, it is needed to anticipate the wider consequences, both of the challenges addressed by energy transitions, and of the changes made by those very transitions. Yet, people can also be a source of resistance. In the course of a transition, it may change what it means for an individual to be a citizen, a consumer, or a producer of energy, or to hold any other identity or role. People may resist such deep social changes, if they are insufficiently engaged in owning and defining the problems that are to be solved through transitions, if they are insufficiently included in decision processes, and if they are insufficiently allowed to bring in their concerns and interests. These are the challenges facing the legitimacy of transition processes.
However, the people are also a source of action and creativity. Through reflection and anticipation, people are also able to find new solutions, and to find new orientations in their lives. With these changes come new repertoires of action. Thus, people are a resource of flexibility, improvisation and problem solving. It is about the people who drive the transition. And it is about how they do so at all levels of organization that matter to energy transitions.
The present manifesto offers guidance towards a more thorough inclusion of people as citizens into processes of governance of energy transitions. We call for actions that serve low-carbon and secure energy development through top-down as well as bottom-up approaches, and through visionary grand narratives as well as local initiatives. Whether at the local level or at central governments, people should be cherished for their knowledge, for their creativity, and because people are why energy transitions matter in the first place. This manifesto is to be read by citizens and administrations, by communities and corporations, by Europeans and villagers, and by experts and consumers. In short, by the people to whom energy transitions matter.
The purpose of this report is to enable the use of non-technical information in quantitative modelling, i.e. to connect the research on societal drivers and barriers, or factors as they are called here, from past work on the societal processes for energy transition (WP3) with modelling designed to produce future scenarios (WP4). This is the first time non-technical aspects of the energy transition are quantified in a harmonised approach and then integrated into modelling processes.
To do this, several steps were taken.
In addition to the 15 factors determined in Deliverable 3.1, three factors more closely related to human energy were introduced. These 18 factors are grouped horizontally into six factor areas (participatory decision making; policy context; adoption, implementation and uptake of innovative technological solutions; financial and entrepreneurial aspects; external factors; repositioning of individuals in the energy system in transition) and vertically into three temporal stages (pre-conditions; triggers; impact).
For each of the now 18 factors, relevant indicators were identified which were then assessed using base year 2012 on an assessment range from -2 to +2, where -2 represented the most negative result [absolute barrier] and +2 represented the most positive result [absolute driver]. Different methodologies were used to assess different types of indicators which were used to determine factor assessment values for Germany, Italy, Poland and the EU for the base year 2012. The addition of qualitative assessments to national 2012 factor assessment values yielded 2012 Overall factor assessment values. In a next step, we extrapolated factor foresights for Germany, Italy, Poland and the entire EU for the years 2020, 2030 and 2050 for two different scenarios to explore alternative futures for Europe based on potential anticipatory experience development and environmental and energy security issues.
The underlying scenarios were aligned with WP4: Societal Energy Transition (SET) Scenario and Centrally driven Energy Transition (CENT) Scenario. SET describes a decentralised bottom-up energy transition, whereas CENT represents a top-down, government-driven scenario.
Based on the factor foresights, narratives were developed for each of the three countries and the EU as a whole to describe the role of the selected factors as drivers and barriers of energy transition over time based on conditions set by the two scenarios, SET and CENT.m The secondary output of this task is the quantitative assessment of identified drivers and barriers of energy transition for both 2012 and future timeframes in the context of two distinct scenarios. These assessments will then contribute to WP4 modelling tasks.
The primary output of the research is the development of a novel methodology for merging qualitative and quantitative information and for comparing energy transition progress across different countries and over time without focusing on the technical energy system, but instead on the human energy or polito-social system.
This report is a result of MILESECURE-2050, a collaborative and multi-disciplinary project seeking to identify the modes through which energy security is defined at the European, national and local scales with a focus on energy transition towards a low carbon society.
This report on drivers of the societal processes of the low-carbon energy transition focuses on the analysis of drivers and barriers of energy transition, the Factors in the three domains: Market, External and Governance Factors (E), Social, Political Movement, and Grassroots Factors (S) and Personal, Cultural and Site-specific Factors (P). This report goes beyond the "social and technological dichotomy" and considers in equal or perhaps greater weight the human factor in energy transition. The analysis uses elements of “post-normal science” to reduce the complexity of the involved systems to be manageable for environmental policy making. It combines qualitative and quantitative information from literature, focus groups and expert interviews, as well as local Anticipatory Experiences into an assessment model to study the relevance of Factors, the interconnectedness of factors and the temporal fluctuation in relevance of Factors. Research results point toward Social, Political Movement and Grassroots Factors as being the most relevant drivers for the energy transition.