30 October 2019

Why is social innovation crucial for the energy transition?

Facing the dire threats of climate change, public authorities are under increasing pressure to play a leading role in driving the move towards a low-carbon society.

A recent policy brief produced by the SMARTEES project and titled “Policy Brief: Social Innovation in the Energy Transition in Action” provides a detailed explanation as to why energy transitions are both a matter of technological solutions, as well as the result of social and political factors.

The brief goes beyond technical solutions, emphasising that a successful transition to efficient and environmentally-friendly energy systems is fostered and influenced by interactions among actors, factors and processes. Understanding these dynamics and their complexity is crucial for uncovering potential obstacles and thus for ensuring a successful energy transition.

The brief, which is based on a study of diverse communities across Europe that have experimented with the features of a low-carbon society through SMARTEES, illustrates the special role social innovation plays in energy transitions at the local level.

Furthermore, it outlines key characteristics of social innovations, as well as a number of policy implications relating to SMARTEES’ work thus far.

For a deeper look into energy- and mobility-related social innovation, readers can also check out:

For more information on SMARTEES, click here.