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Socio-Technical Imaginaries of Future Energy Landscapes: How, when and where are renewable energy infrastructures acceptable? (ESR4)

University Institute of Lisbon 

The project will explore technical-expert and citizens’ imaginaries regarding how energy can be generated and consumed, i.e. how, when and where can different types of renewable energy infrastructures (at different scales) be considered acceptable. Some studies have explored these socio-technical imaginaries, but have mainly focused on how technical-expert systems envisage them, rather than also engaging citizens. Our approach will allow a more comprehensive and systemic perspective to be added to the social challenges posed by the broader dissemination of new modes of energy production and use. A cross-cultural analysis will be performed, comparing Portugal and the UK. Different theories of change should inform the project (e.g., Social Representations Theory, Sociology of Expectations, Theories of socio-technical innovation). Methodologically, photo-voice focus groups, documental analysis and semi-structured interviews will be used. The project will result in better understanding of the norms, values and ideologies, at different scales and in different groups, that hinder or facilitate socially and environmentally sustainable energy transitions, help develop a design for research on the social acceptance of renewable energy technologies that promotes more just and equitable energy transitions, and inform policymaking for socially acceptable energy socio-technical progress.

Leonardo sent at 15:00 040119

Click here to download the ESR4 job description



Project supervision

Dr Susana Batel
Assistant Professor
Centre for Psychological Research and Social Intervention

Dr Nuno Bento
Center for Studies on Socioeconomic and Territorial Change

Dr Margarida Fontes
Assistant Researcher

Professor Brian Ó Gallachóir
Lecturer and Principle Investigator
Energy Policy and Modelling Research Group
University College Cork