Social Sciences and Humanities Support for the Energy Union
Completing the Energy Union remains one of the top priorities of the European Commission, and a critical component in Europe's transition towards the decarbonized energy system of the future. Over and above the many technological challenges that need to be overcome on the road to reaching these twin goals, a number of cross-cutting issues need to be better understood, particularly those relating to socioeconomic, gender, sociocultural, and socio-political aspects of the energy transition.
Addressing these cross-cutting issues is crucial to furthering social acceptability of the many changes that the energy transition implies, as well as to better understand why citizens may resist these changes and to devise appropriate mitigating strategies or alternatives.
Of particular importance in this context are the factors that drive individual and collective energy choices and energy-related behaviour, the governance frameworks in which these choices are made, and the changing roles particularly of consumers and "prosumers" in the energy system.
Proposals should address one, or a combination, of the following issues (a comparative perspective, with case studies or data from at least three European Union Member States or Associated Countries, will be considered an advantage):
- Factors driving individual energy choices and energy-related behaviour (such as values and ethics, structures of everyday practices, belief systems or social or cultural, notably gender, roles), employing different data-gathering techniques;
- Factors driving collective energy choices and energy-related behaviour (such as social, economic, or other forms of organization or experiences with social mobilization).
- Socioeconomic incentive structures that encourage or discourage energy-responsible behaviour;
- Political, institutional, and organizational frameworks that condition and structure citizen participation, including questions of inclusiveness, gender, democracy, organizational formats and business models.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 and 4 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
The proposed research will
- provide a better understanding of these factors and their interrelations with technological, regulatory, and investment-related aspects which is crucial for the further advancement of the energy transition and ultimately the success of the Energy Union.
- further the completion of the Energy Union and particularly its research and innovation pillar, as well as the continued implementation of the Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan and especially the Action Plan based on the Integrated Roadmap.