GRETA project ends – results, tools and recommendations for promoting active energy citizenship
All good things must come to an end – that is the case for Project GRETA, too. Since 2021, GRETA has explored the forms of citizen participation in the energy transition. Here are some of our key findings, tools and recommendations.
For the past two and a half years, GRETA has studied the drivers and barriers for active energy citizenship. The project has collaborated with and studied six different energy communities around Europe and conducted a multinational survey with approximately 10,000 participants. The project celebrated its final conference in October 2023 in the prestigious University of Bologna. As the project comes to an end, let’s take a closer look at the results.
Defining energy citizenship
Energy citizenship is a relatively new concept. As a research project studying energy citizenship, our first task was to define energy citizenship from our project’s point of view and develop a framework to study its emergence. We reviewed past literature and drafted a definition and framework that could be tested in our case studies. Read more about our energy citizenship framework.
Studying energy information needs, energy justice, and levels and emergence of energy citizenship
Before we set out to test our theories in practice, we gathered information on many questions related to citizen participation in the energy transition.
Access to energy is an innate right. However, it doesn’t always seem like it in our current energy systems. We studied what is needed to make a just and meaningful energy transition. Read more about energy justice.
Where is energy citizenship likely to emerge? We wanted to study how energy citizenship emerges at different geographical levels: local, regional, national, and supranational. As a result, we created a taxonomy of geographical levels and drivers.
To generate a solid base of analysis for the project, we created a modeling framework to understand the factors that influence the emergence of energy citizenship. The transdisciplinary model considers various factors, including technical, behavioral, social, and economic aspects that influence the emergence of energy citizenship. Read more about the model and a catalog for energy citizenship actions.
Putting knowledge into practice with six energy communities
To learn from the citizens and communities, we studied six different types of energy communities around Europe. These communities helped us to understand how energy citizenship can develop and flourish and, on the other hand, what might act as a barrier to it. Our work with the communities included co-creation workshops that brought together residents, companies, and policymakers to develop and test tools to support the communities. Read more about the case study communities and their results.
Analysing survey data and EU citizens’ energy behaviour
Energy Citizenship Contracts: voluntary agreements between different stakeholders aimed at addressing energy actions and promoting sustainable practices
Policy recommendations to support the emergence of energy citizenship
One of our most important outputs is policy recommendations that encompass all the learnings from our case studies and the multinational survey. Together with citizens and policymakers, we created policy recommendations to support the emergence of energy citizenship. The recommendations have been gathered in six policy briefs:
Roversi, R., Boeri, A., Pagliula, S., & Turci, G. (2022). Energy Community in Action—Energy Citizenship Contract as Tool for Climate Neutrality. Smart Cities, 5(1), 294-317. [Online] Available at: https://doi.org/10.3390/smartcities5010018
Schlindwein, L.F., & Montalvo, C. (2022). Energy citizenship: Accounting for the heterogeneity of human behaviours within transformative policymaking: the case of Energy Citizenship. EU-SPRI 2022 Conference, “Challenging Science and Innovation Policy” 1-3 June 2022. Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Schlindwein, L.F., & Montalvo, C. (2023). Energy citizenship: Accounting for the heterogeneity of human behaviours within energy transition. Energy Policy, 180, 113662. [Online] Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113662
Longo, D., Boulanger, S. O. M., Massari, M., & Turci, G. (2023). Energy citizenship. Tools and technologies to enable transition in districts. TECHNE – Journal of Technology for Architecture and Environment, (25), 84–92. [Online] Available at: https://doi.org/10.36253/techne-13721
Kumar, A., Wolff, A., & Naqvi, B. (2023). Co-creating Community-level Indicators: Involving Communities in the Digitalization of Energy for Empowering Energy Citizenship. 46th MIPRO ICT and Electronics Convention (MIPRO), Opatija, Croatia, pp. 1392-1397. [Online] Available at: https://doi.org/10.23919/MIPRO57284.2023.10159888
Kumar, A., Naqvi, B., & Wolff, A. (2023). Exploring the energy informatics and energy citizenship domains: a systematic literature review. Energy Inform, 6, 13. [Online] Available at: https://doi.org/10.1186/s42162-023-00268-1
Kumar, A., Naqvi, B., & Rahman, S. M. T. (2023). Exploring energy citizenship at a community level. In Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Communities and Technologies (C&T ’23), 252–254. [Online] Available at: https://doi.org/10.1145/3593743.3593774
All GRETA’s data will be available in the open portfolio for energy citizenship
The GRETA OPCE is a living archive of tools and information related to energy citizenship. All the project data will be uploaded to the OPCE within 12 months of the end of the project.
Join the community
Are you taking part in GRETA’s case studies? Join the GRETA Community on Facebook! In the community, you can share your experiences and best energy-related practises, learn from other community members, participate in the co-design of GRETA’s processes and keep up to date on our project news.