Virtual Institute: Citizens Shape the Energy Transition

Joint Project Energiewende.NRW. Citizens Shape the Transformation of the Energy System. Virtual Institute "Transformation - Energy Transition NRW", Cluster "Governance & Participation"

  • Project no.150191
  • Duration 04/2015 - 03/2017

The project "Energiewende.NRW - Bürger gestalten den Umbau des Energiesystems" belongs to the research cluster "Governance & Participation" and is part of the Virtual Institute (VI) "Transformation - Energy Transition NRW". The project idea is based on a participation-oriented implementation of the energy transition in North Rhine-Westphalia under consideration of a multi-level perspective.

The analysis of these complex changes within the energy transition is embedded into transition research, where transitions are analysed using the multi-level perspective. The multi-level perspective encompasses various forms of transitions and helps to answer i.e. how new user practices are established. So far, concepts such as eco-sufficiency, social innovations, narratives and "field tests" (Real-Labore) were not included in the multi-level perspective. Moreover, there are only limited research approaches in these fields, especially with regard to the energy transition in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The present research design puts empirical and theoretical work into relation and includes practical tests. The leading research questions are:

  • Where and how can social innovations inspire the energy transition?
  • What might be new forms of participation and what is their basis? On which social narratives do they base? Which narratives are viable?
  • How can a multi-level approach be processed so that it serves as a guiding construct for the energy transition?
  • How can practical ideas and impact(s) be achieved on this basis?