Social Innovation in Energy Transitions

2019 - 2022

The SONNET project would like to make individuals and institutions from different disciplines put their work in common to try to understand the various ways in which things can change in society and how this can bring about innovations in the European energy sector or, on the contrary, prevent innovation from happening. It will look into how social innovation has already contributed to making our energy sources cleaner and how it could continue to help reduce our carbon footprint in the future.

Based on a range of already available sources and methods, which it will bring together for the first time, the project will try to find out what could help different kinds of social innovation in accelerating the transition from the use of fossil fuels to more renewables-based energy sources. However, it will also work with practical examples. To do this, project partners will work with so-called “City labs” in six European countries. Their participants will come from diverse disciplines and backgrounds. This way we will learn more about the many distinctive ways in which social innovation in the energy sector happens and contributes in practice to energy transitions that will remain valid in the long term. Moreover, SONNET will organise three surveys with citizens, on the ways they think things could be improved in the energy sector.

Last but not least, SONNET will combine the outcomes of its work in cooperation with all actors that were involved in the project, to explain how social innovation can contribute to the sustainable energy transition in Europe, taking into account different points of view. This information and recommendations will be widely disseminated through diverse communication channels, to reach as many concerned people as possible and allow them to benefit from the findings.

This project is funded by the EU Horizon 2020 reasearch and innovatio programme under Grant Agreement N°837498.