Why is social innovation crucial for the energy transition? Read the Policy Brief to find out

28 October 2019

Why is social innovation crucial for the energy transition? Read the Policy Brief to find out

Faced by 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.

In a recent SMARTEES policy brief, titled “Policy Brief: Social Innovation in the Energy Transition in Action”, readers are provided with 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.

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

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

Furthermore, it outlines a number of social innovation’s key characteristics. It then concludes with a number of policy implications relating to SMARTEES’ work thus far.

For a deeper look into energy- and mobility-related social innovation, please also read:
Report on Profiles of Social Innovation “In Action” for Each Cluster, which closely examines the social innovation characterising each of the five SMARTEES thematic clusters; and
Report on Five Models of Social Innovation, which provides more details on the models of social innovation processes found within the five SMARTEES thematic clusters.

Image: SMARTEES cities visit to Vitoria-Gasteiz


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 763912. The sole responsibility for the content of this website lies with the SMARTEES project. It does not necessarily represent the opinion of the European Union.