Typologies of Energy Initiatives

WP2 is developing a systematic criteria-guided review of existing sustainable energy consumption initiatives (SECIs) from 30 European countries, which will feed into a comprehensive database showcasing more than 1000 SECIs across Europe. The database will explore similarities and differences across the vast variety of SECIs, including examples of organizational, material, social, cultural, collective, scale-and place specific aspects of energy consumption. The review will also form the basis for a classification and subsequent development of typologies of energy initiatives, which will guide the selection of Living Labs elements for ENERGISE and inform future research on energy use.

To achieve our objectives, WP2 includes a number of data-collection phases. We started by assessing existing reviews of sustainable energy initiatives across Europe, and partners conducted an initial assessment of national contexts. Based on these first assessments, a data collection template was developed to guide and organize subsequent findings. The template was also informed by theoretical and conceptual understandings, inspired by theories of social practice and the conceptual framework developed in WP1. The categories included in the database therefore facilitate an assessment of practice dynamics, including cultural as well as material aspects of SECIs.

We have now started phase two of the data collection process, involving a more comprehensive review of selected initiatives. Phase two describes different types of interventions, discursive, material and social aspects of the SECIs in question, as well as aspects of implementation, objectives and goals. Overall, this work will contribute significantly to an understanding of the variety of SECIs currently taking place across Europe, and it will provide substantial insights into the significant variety in scope, methods, goals and scale of these initiatives.

By Charlotte Louise Jensen, Aalborg University