The sustainable energy transition will have a big impact on the functioning of energy systems. Next to technological change it involves major social, behavioural, organisational, and institutional change. The transition also comes with many novelties. These include amongst others: new energy sources, new technologies, new roles for producers, grid operators, consumers and citizens, new energy services, new business models, novel governance arrangements, and new policies.
In order to design and implement systems that are acceptable from both a technical and societal perspective, thorough understanding of socio-technical energy systems is required. This includes creating specific knowledge on the inter-relation between the technical and social elements of energy systems. At Delft University of Technology we are in a unique position to do this using a multi-disciplinary, integrated perspective connecting engineering with social science perspectives.
The platform of Social Innovation in the Energy Transition – founded in 2017 – supports this endeavour. In 2020-2022 we will take the next step further developing the concept and research on this theme, also in relation to other research of the Delft Energy Initiative at Delft University of Technology. We seek to strengthen the tradition of social science energy research at TU Delft, which is distinctive because of its interdisciplinary and societal and policy relevance.
The platform on Social Innovation in the Energy Transition supports knowledge exchange and deliberation between inter alia academic researchers, energy community members, and professionals from both the public and private sectors. This includes valorisation and dissemination of results from relevant academic and professional studies. In addition, the platform seeks to bring partners into contact with each other, and encourage them to start collaboration. For instance in co-researching topics relevant to social innovation in the energy transition, co-developing joint symposia, webinars or conferences, or co-developing (research) project proposals. More in general, the platform seeks to empower the research community active in research about social innovation in the energy transition, and related topics and domains.