21 July 2020

New publication examines the social side of energy transition

A new publication is now available for all those interested in learning more about the social dimension of energy transitions.

The publication, referred to as an "Energy Read," introduces the concept of social innovation in energy transitions and shows how diverse these innovations are, going far "beyond only energy cooperatives". This diversity is portrayed in a typology and illustrated with examples from across Europe, including in ICLEI Members Antwerp (Belgium), Basel (Switzerland), Bristol (United Kingdom), Mannheim (Germany) and Warsaw (Poland).

The Energy Read demonstrates that energy transitions have inseparable social and technological dimensions to them. By understanding these dimensions, initiatives can better support the social dynamics that are necessary to the success of the much-needed renewal of our energy systems.

This publication is the first in a series of "Energy Reads" being produced by the SONNET project, in which ICLEI is a partner. Throughout the project, SONNET will produce in-depth research. In order to ensure that this research is accessible and useable for as many people as possible, they have launched a series of Energy Reads called the “Social Innovation Meets Energy” series.

The series aims to communicate SONNET’s research results in short, visual publications that distil key insights as practical recommendations. Through these reads, researchers and social innovation practitioners alike should find information to support critical reflection and capacity building.

Upcoming Energy Reads will cover topics spanning: lessons learned from City Labs; a socio-economic, socio-cultural and socio-political reflection on social innovations in energy (SIE); how local SIE can contribute to European energy policy objectives; and a summary of SONNET results.

For more information, download the project's first Energy Read here.