Scientific coordination of the funding initiative „An environmentally and socially compatible transformation of the German energy system”
Since 2013 a total of 33 collaborative research projects are dealing with various aspects of an “Environmentally and socially compatible transformation of the German energy system”. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has included this initiative into the funding priority Social-Ecological Research (SÖF) and has assigned the Öko-Institut together with the ISOE with the coordination of the funding initiative.
Within the framework of this monitoring project, scientific synthesis and transfer services will be provided and an overview over the results of the research projects will be created. A particular focus will be on the state of research with respect to participation.
Three fields of research are particularly important:
- Developing options for the energy system including economic scenarios
- Participation in the transformation process and societal preconditions for the acceptance of the transformations
- Governance of transformation processes including economic instruments.
In order for the funding initiative “Environmentally and socially compatible transformation of the German energy system” to be able to provide a focused contribution towards transformation, the “scientific coordination” will concentrate on the following tasks:
- The results of the research projects will be recorded and then summarized in an appropriate form. To this end the projects will be linked into five thematic clusters in order to register and jointly discuss overlaps, differences, methods and data. ISOE is in charge of the cluster “participation strategies”. On annual synthesis conferences core results will be identified and focused transfer strategies will be developed together will all projects.
- The transfer of knowledge into practice will be based on individual findings and will be carried out swiftly and in a focused manner by taking into account synthesized results from the clusters and the synthesis conferences. In this context it will be the task of ISOE to develop an online-tool and make the contents continuously available in agreement with the projects (so-called Online-Transfer-Hub). The addressees will be private households, companies, politics, administration as well as research platforms.
- Right across all projects, approaches, methods, and strategies of participations and citizen’s involvement will be identified and described. Furthermore quality features will be developed. This task will be jointly carried out by ISOE and the Öko-Institut.
- Methods of transdisciplinary integration that are developed and used within the projects will be assembled, described and sorted by ISOE.
- The compilation and documentation of relevant external developments (national and international) in the areas of technology, industry, politics, society, and legislation will be the responsibility of the Öko-Institut. Additionally, the “scientific coordination” will present the main development options for the German Energy Transition (Energiewende) in the form of development portfolios.
Other than the historic transformation, the envisaged transformation of the energy system offers the chance to actively take part in the process. Thus, the transformation cannot be controlled in a technocratic top-down manner or in any particular detail. It rather has to be designed as a societal search-, negotiation- and decision process based on research and knowledge. This kind of process confronts all parts of society with new challenges – private households as well as industry (particularly the energy industry), and science. The funding initiative “Environmentally and socially compatible transformation of the German energy system” can offer a major contribution to accomplish these tasks.
- Öko-Institut e.V.
- Dr. Florian Keil, kib, Berlin (permanent cooperation partner within the research unit “Transdisciplinary methods and concepts”)
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the project “Research coordination of the funding initiative ‘An environmentally and socially compatible transformation of the German energy system’” within the funding priority “Social Ecological Research” (funding code 01UN1200B)