Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Alexandra Revez, Niall P. Dunphy, Clodagh Harris, Gerard Mullally, Breffní Lennon, & Christine Gaffney
International Journal Of Qualitative Methods
Beyond Forecasting: Using a Modified Delphi Method to Build Upon Participatory Action Research in Developing Principles for a Just and Inclusive Energy Transition
Optional Fields
community-based research, mixed methods, PAR—participatory action research, social justice, methods in qualitative inquiry,Delphi panel
Energy transition debates have been characterized by a strong emphasis on the technical implications of shifting away from fossilfuels to renewable energy sources, with little consideration of social contexts. This is now changing, with a growing emphasis onreconfiguring the social aspects of energy, particularly in terms of introducing more democratic processes into behavior changeand energy practice engagements. This article situates itself within these debates and demonstrates the transformative potential ofcombining participatory action research (PAR) approaches with a modified Delphi method for understanding energy transitionissues, particularly beyond forecasting instruments. There remains a dearth in literature combining the Delphi method with PAR;its application in the field of energy transitions is very innovative. PAR draws from grassroots and local-based knowledge, Delphipanels typically focus on the insights from a panel of professional experts. In combining these two approaches, to developprinciples for an inclusive and just energy transition, a reflexive form of dialogue emerges that gives voice to what are oftenconsidered dissonant or mismatched perspectives. Furthermore, the experimental use of a modified Delphi panel, combined withPAR, offers a strategy to promote knowledge sharing between different groups and to counter potential communication barriersamong different actors in society. This article shows how a modified Delphi panel approach is considerably enhanced by combiningelements of PAR, raising the potential of Delphi panels beyond forecasting instruments, which often seek to determine the waythe future “will be,” toward an envisioning tool that collaboratively seeks to explore the way a low-carbon system “could be,” orperhaps “should be.” The development of energy transition principles, endorsed through the modified Delphi panel, offers aconcrete way to enact practices of energy justice within a more democratized energy system.
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