Social sciences and Humanities for Advancing Policy in European Energy (SHAPE-ENERGY) is a €2m investment through the EU Horizon 2020 programme, running over 2017-2019. Specifically, it represents a new European platform for energy-related social sciences and humanities (energy-SSH). Energy-SSH has played less of a role to date in shaping (European) energy policy than Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. In funding this project, the European Commission is supporting better integration of energy-SSH into the policy process. SHAPE-ENERGY is co-ordinated by the Consumption & Change team at the GSI.
Collaborators: 12 other partners from across Europe, as detailed here
Dr Chris Foulds is a visiting fellow at the EPSRC-funded Centre for Industrial Energy, Materials and Products (CIE-MAP) over January 2017 – March 2018. Specifically, he is working with CIE-MAP partner Cardiff University on innovations in narrative-interviewing techniques, as part of accessing often overlooked aspects of practice histories and of people’s everyday life. There is a particular focus on the use of SQUINs (Single QUestions aiming to Induce Narratives) in interview methods, and their transferability beyond their origins in the psycho-social sciences.
GSI staff: Dr Chris Foulds
Collaborators: Dr Catherine Cherry (Cardiff University)
In the context of Turkey’s low-carbon energy transition, the country has seen a steady increase in renewables which now account for a third of electricity generation. However, critical investigations into many aspects of Turkish renewable energy policy and deployment are lacking, and in particular, little has been done to quantify the social impacts of renewable energy deployment. Energy justice seeks to advance our understanding of how energy systems impact society. This project is working to develop collaborations between Turkey and the UK in the area, extending energy justice research beyond its largely western (UK-based) academic foundations.
Collaborators: Prof Ramazan Sari (Middle East Technical University)
Dr Rosie Robison is working in collaboration with the Imagination Institute (headed by Positive Psychologist Prof Martin Seligman) on the role of imagination in different fields. In June 2016 the Institute brought together a dozen senior physicists to discuss the role of ‘imagination’ in scientific work. The rich qualitative data gathered from two days of in-depth conversations offer a rare window into researchers' perceptions of the imagination process, as well as how a group of senior scientists relate to each other. Rosie has led on the analysis of the workshop discussions and final report.
GSI staff: Dr Rosie Robison
Collaborators: Prof Herbert Huppert (University of Cambridge), Dr Scott Barry Kaufman and Lizzy Hyde (University of Pennsylvania)
The two-year, €250k EnW project is led by the GSI and aims to share knowledge on the energy-water nexus, with a particular focus on developing a joint internalisation strategy and a roadmap for action. Consumption & Change’s role in this project is to lead a work package (WP2) that examines the state of the nexus in Europe. This includes identifying cross-sector priorities at the water-energy nexus, analysing the characteristics of the regions and SMEs involved in leading action on the nexus, as well as exploring the requirements of innovating technology supply and demand.
Collaborators: Asociación Valenciana de Empresas del Sector de la Energía (Spain), Centre for the Development of Eco-enterprises (France), CLEAN (Denmark), Water Alliance (Netherlands), Zinnae (Spain), EA Eco-Entreprises (France)
The energy requirements of most of our everyday tasks are invisible to us at the point of use. It can be difficult for us, as householders, to get a feel for how much energy different activities typically use, and potentially modify our behaviour based on that information.This project is looking at the effects of energy feedback mechanisms - where users track their energy use via a webpage which provides graphical displays - on consumption patterns. Energy Policy paper 2017: Energy monitoring as a practice: Investigating use of the iMeasure online energy feedback tool.
Collaborators: Dr Rachel Macrorie (University of Sheffield), Catherine Bottrill (Pilio Ltd), Dr Russell Layberry (University of Oxford)
Digital technologies are changing our personal lives, the way we work, and the interplay between the two. The Balance Network is an RCUK-funded initiative that aims to facilitate an interdisciplinary approach to research and practice relating to Work-Life Balance issues in the Digital Age. The network is led out of the GSI, and complements other work within the Consumption & Change theme on the use of digital technologies for achieving sustainable outcomes. The Balance Network hosted Beyond Balance, a one day conference in London on 27 June 2016.
Collaborators: Prof David Kirk (Northumbria University)
CUSP's guiding vision for sustainable prosperity is one in which people everywhere have the capability to flourish as human beings – within the ecological and resource constraints of a finite planet. CUSP explores not just the economic aspects of this challenge, but also its social, political and philosophical dimensions. We address the implications of sustainable prosperity at the level of households and firms; and we will explore sector-level and macro-economic implications of different pathways to prosperity. This is a £6 million funded centre by the Economics & Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC) from 2016-2020.