Key points:

  • The energy-SSH field is highly active and diverse. However, understandably, those outside the field often immediately think of one or two key roles – e.g. education and awareness-raising to change energy behaviours; or encouraging market uptake of new energy technologies – which has led to other key roles being neglected.
  • This neglects a large number of aspects of energy systems, where energy-SSH offers significant insights. Issues highlighted by energy stakeholders (including non-academics) through the SHAPE ENERGY project as being important on-the-ground include: vision-building, justice, inclusion/exclusion, collaborations, power relations, responsibility, citizenship, policy(making), governance, planning and legal frameworks, employment, poverty, stakeholder dialogue and navigating conflict, cultures, philosophies, histories, gatekeepers, non-mainstream thinking, institutional rise and fall, impact of non-energy policies (e.g. housing, health), politicisation of research, production of evidence, and research design, to name but a few.
  • Technical energy projects which include relevant consideration of wider SSH issues will both benefit from being more socially relevant, and distinguish themselves from competitive bids.

Further reading:

  • SHAPE ENERGY workshops report?
  • SHAPE ENERGY annotated bibliographies?
  • SHAPE ENERGY academic workshop report (appendix in particular)?