Project deliverable Open Access

Energy Management Approaches for Sustainable Communities

Lennon, Breffní; Dunphy, Niall; Sanvicente, Estibaliz; Hillman, Joanne; Morrissey, John

A key objective of work package 5 of the ENTRUST project has been to develop a cohesive community research environment utilising participatory action research (PAR) techniques that encourage active participant engagement in the project and the issues informing ENTRUST’s intersectional, co-design programme. Establishing the creative spaces whereby stakeholders are able to identify, consider, and then deliberate on, the actions and behaviours that influence their respective participations and positionalities in the energy system and its current transition, has been essential to this approach. In addition, it was important for the research team that this was done by implementing a range of iterative, multi-scalar dialogues with participants within each of the case study communities that, in turn, also informed the team’s engagements in each of the other communities when applicable.

The previous two deliverables for this work package reported on how the ENTRUST team went about achieving these goals, from the selection of the communities of practice through to the reflexive feedback and analysis of the community dialogue outcomes. An important part of these activities was to ensure that an essential requirement of the project, achieving gender inclusion in the research actions, was possible. Collecting a majority male (or indeed female) perspective was considered anathema to the project’s overall goals and therefore not considered an option. D5.1 Report on Community Dialogues demonstrated how the research team went about ensuring that balanced engagement did occur, in terms of gender, and discussed the suite of collaborative methods that were deployed. D5.2 Report on the Expert Feedback on Community Dialogue Outcomes dealt more specifically with an innovative research method adopted for the research communities in this project, a deliberative democracy tool known as the citizen jury, in addition to a modified Delphi-panel with experts – this was further augmented with engagements at the community level – to coproduce a set of principles that promote a fair and inclusive energy transition in Europe.

This deliverable, in turn, reports on the research carried out on new policy mixes and innovative cooperation mechanisms that have the potential to support transitions. In addition to the key findings emerging from WP5, the report has also applied a number of the lessons learned from Task 4.1 to develop the cooperation mechanisms that will prove useful to policy makers tasked with driving the energy transition at the various socio-political and infrastructural levels of Europe’s energy transition. Policy plays a key role in shaping societal responses to a vast array of influences and circumstances, both in terms of human and non-human interactions. Therefore, the tools and pathways policy makers promote as they seek to drive an agenda towards its final policy goal can have consequences not always foreseen by those self-same policy makers. This report offers a number of examples of innovative cooperation mechanisms that have been applied in real-world contexts, as well as some that could complement existing mechanisms already in place. The insights presented in this report highlight a number of examples, or scenarios, where energy user communities outside of the ENTRUST project can learn from and apply to their local and national contexts.

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