New publication on the energy transition

The Helmholtz Alliance ENERGY-TRANS has explored the energy transition from an interdisciplinary perspective. The book presents key findings of a research project on the transformation of the energy system.
Source: Nomos Verlag

The Helmholtz Alliance ENERGY-TRANS was established after the Fukushima disaster in 2011. The aim of the research network, coordinated by ITAS, was to examine the systematic interrelations of the energy transition in Germany from an interdisciplinary social science perspective, and to derive political and economic options. The recently published book “Die Energiewende verstehen – orientieren – gestalten” (Understanding, guiding, shaping the energy transition) presents important results of the research project, completed in 2016. It has been edited by ENERGY-TRANS coordinator Jens Schippl and the two spokespersons of the project Armin Grunwald and Ortwin Renn.

Transformation of sociotechnical systems

A basic assumption of ENERGY-TRANS was that the energy transition is about much more than replacing old technologies with new ones. Rather, infrastructures such as the energy system are sociotechnical systems in which technologies, institutions, economic factors, and patterns of social action, such as consumer behavior, must be coordinated. The opportunities for science to contribute to the transformation thus go far beyond the development and provision of new technologies and economic research into new business models and services. The social sciences and humanities are indispensable to understanding and addressing social, political, cultural, psychological, and ethical aspects. They help to identify implementation barriers or unintended consequences of sociotechnical transformations and to find sustainable solutions to societal problems.

Understanding, guiding, shaping

The book is structured according to three basic principles of interdisciplinary transformation research: understanding, guiding, and shaping. The 26 contributions help to understand the mechanisms underlying the energy system. They show and evaluate possible future development paths and finally provide concrete recommendations for action. The anthology thus also illustrates the great importance of interdisciplinary research for the success of the energy transition. (27.02.2017)

Bibliographic data

Schippl, Jens; Grunwald, Armin; Renn, Ortwinn (Eds.)
Die Energiewende verstehen – orientieren – gestalten. Erkenntnisse aus der Helmholtz-Allianz ENERGY-TRANS. Baden-Baden: Nomos 2017
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