EnergyPolities: Politico-institutional framing of collective engagements with the energy system

Funding programme: SEAI National Energy Research Development and Demonstration Programme

Dec 2018 – Nov 2021 | Budget: €354,721 

Principal Investigator: Dr Niall Dunphy

EnergyPOLITIES aims to develop an in-depth understanding of citizen participation in the energy transition, the socio-economic and socio-cultural factors which shape it, and the intersections between these and the governance frameworks within which decisions are made. This involves an initial mapping of current patterns of citizen engagement with the energy system, from active consumers to social mobilisation, and from political campaigners to members of community energy projects.

This mapping forms the basis of a typology of citizen participation, which links specific participation forms to the governance structures which condition them and the socio- demographic characteristics of citizens. This typology will subsequently be applied in an in-depth analysis of three case studies of energy projects (two Irish and one mainland EU) that have stimulated significant citizen participation. Integrating both quantitative and qualitative methods, the case studies will reveal linkages between political, institutional and organisational frameworks and citizen participation in the energy system.

EnergyPOLITIES will explore how governance structures intersect with the socio-economic and key socio- cultural factors, including gender, to influence the social acceptability or otherwise of energy infrastructure projects. The business models deployed in each project will be analysed from the perspective of their impact on inclusiveness, gender, democracy and social acceptability; stakeholders’ perceptions of distributional and procedural justice will be explored. Recommendations will be developed for how multi- level governance structures, and business models can support inclusive citizen participation and thereby enhance the social acceptability of the energy transition.

Click here for the EnergyPOLITIES website 

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EnergyPOLITIES is a three-year research project (2018-21) supported by the SEAI Research, Development and Demonstration Funding Programme, under Grant Agreement 18/RDD/356.

Cleaner Production Promotion Unit

G.03 Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork, Lee Road, Cork T23 XE10, Ireland