On July 14th 2015 Jason Chilvers, Helen Pallett and Tom Hargreaves published a scoping note entitled ‘Rethinking energy participation as relational and systemic’. As part of a the Systemic participation and decision-making in UK energy transitions UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) project the note develops new perspectives on energy participation and societal engagement with energy systems. It creates a basis for rethinking participation in energy transitions from a relational and systemic perspective, through drawing on cutting-edge social science insights, some of which currently lie outside of the energy field. The scoping note is an initial report which lays out the conceptual justification and framework for a forthcoming systematic review, which will then inform the design of experimental participation processes around UK energy transitions in the final part of the project.
The project engages with increasing recognition in policy and in academic work of the importance of the societal dimensions of energy systems, in particular the need to account for the roles of citizens in tackling energy issues. Secondly, it attempts to lay out a ‘whole systems’ vision of energy participation, which goes beyond current siloed and compartmentalised approaches. In the report the authors advocate a relational-systemic approach to energy participation which recognises the emergent and situated nature of different energy publics, and also tries to account for their interconnections with each other and with broader stabilities in energy systems.
The authors welcome your feedback on all elements of this scoping note, including the systematic review process, their review of the literature and the conceptual framework they have developed. They also welcome suggestions of source material to draw on in the systematic review. Please email h.pallett[at]uea.ac.uk if you wish to comment.
The scoping note can be downloaded here: UKERC 5.1 Rethinking energy participation scoping note