Finding alternative energy sources and transition pathways toward a more sustainable energy future is proving to be essential not just in terms of addressing dwindling fossil fuel reserves but also because current energy practices have caused unsustainable damage to the environment and the earth’s atmosphere (Chilvers & Longhurst 2016). However, this process of transition has been negligent in overcoming the many obstacles that have considerably stalled and delayed a substantial decarbonisation of the energy system (Grübler 2012). One of the areas that has been relatively underdeveloped in current debates about energy transitions relates to energy system governance and the potential implications for the way in which transitions can considerably change the way in which energy is managed as a public good (Chilvers & Longhurst 2016). In fact, recent research broadens this debate by suggesting that energy demand systems are more influential for leading transitions than energy supply systems (Grübler 2012). These new paradigms have turned conventional understandings of energy system change on its head. As common assumptions were based on the notion that large scale energy supply systems were the main driver of energy transitions. Furthermore, in terms of working towards a vision of energy sustainability, equity has come to represent one of the core pillars for achieving sustainability in consonance with environmental and economic sustainability (Ringrose 2017). Understanding and meditating end-user needs and requirements is therefore a critical component of a successful energy transition towards a more sustainable future.
The work presented in this document focuses on providing a detailed report of expert and stakeholder engagements carried out with respect to the community dialogue outcomes. The thematic focus of the report concentrates in particular on energy transitions. From this particular perspective, this deliverable combines with T6.1 and T6.3 to provide a summary and critical overview of the feasibility of suites of collated transition pathways. Community capacities to achieve carbon reductions are further assessed using the Shared Socio- economic Pathways Framework. These insights are developed through enhanced views of transition pathways for the community of practice in Gràcia, Spain and a University student cohort in Ireland.
A key component of the work produced for this report relates to the development and implementation of two distinct data collection instruments. Firstly, using a modified Delphi-panel to develop a set of principles for a fair and inclusive energy transition in Europe. Drawing down initially from key findings from WP 3, 5 and 6 key principles based on areas of concern highlighted at community level. These principles were refined and validated through the modified Delphi-panel process, which relied on key inputs from a panel of academic experts. Secondly, to augment this iterative process of community engagements, surveys were conducted with local stakeholders to capture information in order to promote energy system change at community level. These surveys draw on insights from five distinct communities across Europe and offer a range of findings pertaining to how energy system change is perceived at local level and potential barriers for promoting further transitions.
Finally, a strategy which highlights a range of feedback mechanism with the communities that have been centre stage in the work carried out by ENTRUST is forwarded, which highlights the need for a ‘conscientisation’ strategy (after Freire 1970) that seeks to foster deeper dialogue with communities.