The Project

Concept

The ENTRUST project contributes to an effective transition to a more sustainable energy future by achieving a deep understanding of the social aspects of the energy system. Recognising the importance of escaping the ‘energy as a commodity’ paradigm, ENTRUST develops the concept of energy citizenship as a theoretical lens through which the human factors of the energy system are explored. The project takes an intersectional approach to consider the effects that gender, age and socioeconomic status have for transitioning to low carbon energy system.

ENTRUST explores the human factor in energy systems through an integrated, mixed-methods approach, focusing on practices and behavioural aspects of energy use in particular, as well as leveraging newly developed knowledge about and insight into the technical, policy and socioeconomic aspects of the energy system to inform innovation and widespread stakeholder engagement. Approaches such as Participatory Action Research (PAR) will be used within the selected communities to empower members to contribute to the shaping of ‘their’ energy system in the context of the low-carbon transition.

A significant legacy of the project will be a knowledge and communication platform that will be used to inform and empower the wider public to engage in a dialogue on the future of their energy system(s).

Objectives and Aims

There are five overarching objectives of the ENTRUST project.

  1. To broaden understanding of public awareness, perceptions, behaviour and attitudes to energy relevant technologies.
  2. To identify current levels of awareness, perceptions, behaviour and attitudes to transition pathways to a low carbon economy of actors in the energy system, including perception of risks and benefits.
  3. To analyse the role and significance of gender aspects of energy-related behaviours and attitudes and their consequences for the development of an efficient and reliable low carbon energy system.
  4. To engage public in the transformation process to a more efficient, low carbon energy system.
  5. To develop measures, methods and tools to launch and stimulate a dialogue with the public on energy policy and energy innovation at the European level.

Work Programme

The project, coordinated by University College Cork, has been divided into eight Work Packages (WPs), which will be delivered over the period May 2015-Apr 2018.

WP1 Project Management: comprises those activities related to the management of the project including financial, technical, communication and risk management; as well as the quality assurance of its deliverables. [WP leader: University College Cork]

WP2 Mapping the Energy System: comprises an analysis of key actors, a description of their roles, and critical strategic points of interaction combined with a characterisation of current and emerging technologies and a review of business models. [WP leader: Stam s.r.l.]

WP3 Socio-economic Analysis: with the objective of providing an understanding of human behaviour and practices in relation to energy use, and how they are affected by a variety of factors, including in particular: gender, social status and age. [WP leader: University College Cork]

WP4 Policy Analysis: provides an overview of policies and regulations impacting on the energy system in a range of European countries and an assessment of the potential “Europeanisation” of the energy policy landscape. [WP leader: LGI Consulting]

WP5 Communities of Practice: identifies selected communities that will provide a real-world environment for empirical and qualitative participatory action research (PAR) and testing findings. [WP leader: University College Cork]

WP6 Energy Transition Pathways: will develop tangible new and effective means through which a situated, practice-based understanding of new technology, behaviour and integrated socio-technical interventions can best support a transition by developing “Energy Transition Pathways”. [WP leader: Liverpool John Moores University]

WP7 Knowledge and Communication Platform: involves the development of a platform for knowledge dissemination, to facilitate and promote dialogue on energy efficiency, and the transition to a low carbon system. [WP leader: Integrated Environmental Solutions]

WP8 Dissemination and Exploitation: provides the maximum visibility and public awareness of project progress, and results to all relevant stakeholders by engaging with them in a gender inclusive fashion, along with effective dissemination of project results and findings through open access. [WP leader: REDINN s.r.l.]