E-Trans 2050 - Sustainable energy of tomorrow
In progress from 01-10-2008 to 30-06-2010
Project manager: Michael Ornetzeder
Energy technology, Environment, Environmental technology, Expert-based, Innovation, Sustainability, Transport technology
Sustainable energy of tomorrow: socio-technical visions and transformation paths for the Austrian energy system
Read more on the project homepage
The aim of this project is to develop different visions of the future of the Austrian energy-system. The socio-technical scenarios are generated in a participatory process involving different groups of stakeholders. A back-casting process then is carried out to identify system innovations and policy strategies to support energy system transition guided by goals such as sustainability, security of supply and the competitiveness of the Austrian economy.
The programme “Energy of Tomorrow” aims at a long-term transformation of the Austrian energy system. Such transitions require complex processes of social learning involving a multitude of actors and levels, such as the firm level, social networks and broader social contexts. The system innovations required for profound change processes involve the reconfiguration of technologies, institutions (e.g. regulation; informal norms such as professional cultures or cognitive paradigms), social practices (e.g. use patterns, lifestyles), cultural values, and the relations, interests and strategies of various actors. The active political and social shaping of such transformations depends on the development of shared visions about possible ‘futures’ of the energy system as well as the continuous adaptation of strategies and action to move the energy system into desired directions.
The suggested project aims at a systematic and interactive engagement with socio-technical visions of potential energy futures and intends to support strategy development at the level of politics, programme management and firms involved in the scenario development process. The project thereby builds on the preceding strategy development process e2050 and complements quantitatively oriented energy scenario models.
The main project steps are:
o Development of framework scenarios to describe different potential socio-economic contexts and other external influences shaping the further development of the energy system
* Participative generation of consistent and plausible socio-technical visions of future energy systems taking place in two workshops with different stakeholder representatives;
* Multi-criteria-assessment of the sustainability of different visions and identification of specific socio-economic constellations (‘hot spots’) that are regarded central for the further transformation path of the energy system;
* Organisation of three expert-panels to support the analysis of system innovations related to these hot spots;
* The development of socio-technical visions of energy futures and the analysis of policy options in fields of strategic importance for the further transformation of the energy system shall contribute to the identification of potential barriers and opportunities for change processes and to the design of transformation pathways towards aims such as sustainability, security of supply or economic competitiveness of the national industry.