Energy transition is crucial if we are to secure a safe, sustainable and just future. Innovations of all kinds are developing at a fast pace to help communities make such a transition happen at the rate and with the urgency needed. Some of these are social innovations – or new ways of doing, organising, or thinking about energy systems. How have these social innovations in energy (SIEs) shaped energy systems? How do larger landscapes in turn impact, enable or impede SIEs? And how are these narratives different in different national and local contexts?
To explore how SIEs can shape – and are shaping – energy transitions, SONNET analysed and compiled 18 in-depth Case Studies. These Case Studies span six countries and six ‘SIE-fields’, which we define as a specific SIE, as well as the actors working on that innovation, and the actors in the field that enable and/or impede their work.
Our SONNET team reviewed 298 documents, held 171 in-depth interviews, and conducted participant observation in 37 online events, all in order to develop better understandings of how different SIEs have developed in different contexts. This research has not only resulted in historical narratives, but also in concrete recommendations for SIE actors, local governments, and for national and EU policymakers on what they can do to ensure that, moving forward, SIEs are supported to be major drivers of sustainable energy transitions.
All 18 Case Studies and six Country Reports are now available to read and download at sonnet-energy.eu/research/case-studies. In the upcoming weeks, findings will also be synthesised in a short, visual “Energy Read”, an infographic, and in two webinars. Follow SONNET on Twitter and subscribe to our mailings to be the first to know when the Energy Read, infographic and webinars are published.
For more information and to read all of the Case Studies, click here.
Header image from Unplash.