Social and Market Approaches to Realizing Transition to Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

2018 - 2020

Understanding the complex dynamic processes behind citizen acceptance of the Energy Union, citizen responsiveness to socioeconomic incentives leading to increased ownership, and prosumerism requires a thorough multidisciplinary understanding of social systems. Fostering inclusiveness and robustness of policymaking is dependent on having empirical and theoretical insights and methodological tools to assess, test, and adapt policy strategies.

SMARTEES substantially contributes to addressing this unanswered need through an iterative process with the following steps:

  • integration of theories and methodologies of social innovation, and agent-based socio-economic simulation in a comprehensive, flexible modelling framework;
  • unprecedented data collection and integration in five trans-European case clusters in the domains of consumer-driven regenerative energy production, energy efficiency in buildings, low-carbon regional transport, and consumer empowerment;
  • specification and validation of complex, multilevel agent-based models in the case clusters, studying common mechanisms of successful innovation transfer; and all of which ultimately lead to
  • the development of a policy sandbox which allows a realistic prospective analysis of existing and future policy and market incentive scenarios.

SMARTEES develops the policy sandbox in a co-constructive process with users on the case level and in workshops on the European level within the SMARTEES networks of policymakers. By doing this, SMARTEES contributes to robust and adaptive future policymaking, understanding of barriers and sources of resistance, the effects of the Energy Union on vulnerable consumer groups, and the perspectives of gender and cultural diversity.

Furthermore, SMARTEES substantially drives theoretical and methodological advancement of social innovation and social simulation research, especially by including the dynamic modelling of meso-level structures like supply chains, companies, social groups, cities or neighborhoods.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 763912.