Publication type: Conference paper
Type of review: Not specified
Title: Social innovation in energy transition : evaluation challenges and innovative solutions
Authors: Betz, Regina
Winzer, Christian
et. al: No
Proceedings: eceee Summer Study Proceedings
Page(s): 551
Pages to: 557
Conference details: eceee 2022 Summer Study, Hyères, France, 6-11 June 2022
Issue Date: 2022
Publisher / Ed. Institution: eceee
ISBN: 978-91-988270-1-9
ISSN: 2001-7960
Language: English
Subjects: Social innovation; Impact evaluation; Community energy system
Subject (DDC): 333.79: Energy
Abstract: The climate crisis needs urgent solutions and potential agents of change are cooperatives, citizen initiatives, start-ups etc., which form social innovation initiatives. Social innovations in energy transition (SIEs) are defined as “(combinations of) ideas, objects and/or actions that change social relations and involve new ways of doing, thinking and/or organising energy. ” (Wittmayer et al. 2020, iv). This is how the H2020 project SONNET defines SIEs, on which this paper is based on. The aim of the paper is to illustrate how challenging the evaluation of the success of those diverse types of SIEs is and what approaches were and can be applied. Evaluating whether SIEs are successful means to understand whether SIE-initiatives have been successful in achieving goals and which types of SIEs are more successful in achieving certain goals than others. We differentiated between the aims held by SIE-initiatives themselves (SIE-aims), aims which are shared by the EU and SIEs (shared-aims), and aims of the European Energy Union which are not shared by SIE’s (EU-aims). The aims of the SIE-initiatives were based on literature review and a survey among the empirically studied SIEs in SONNET. We find that many of the studied SIE-initiatives do not monitor their impacts as resources are scarce. Some of the impacts occur in people’s mind (such as impacts on “thinking”), and even the impacts which can and have been monitored are hard to compare across different initiatives, due to their diversity. Therefore, our surveys only capture the perceived contributions of SIEs to the different goals. Based on the surveys we find that SIE-initiatives achieved significantly higher contributions towards SIE-aims than towards EU-aims or shared-aims and that the perceived contribution is stronger for those aims with higher importance. The SIE-aims with the highest contributions were “improve social acceptance of renewable energy production” and “strengthen local community”. The shared-aims with the highest contributions were “increased renewables production” and “reduced greenhouse gas emissions”. The perceived contribution towards other EU-aims or shared-aims was rather low. Looking at the different SIE-types, in general SIE-initiatives focusing on “Thinking”-type of activities seem to achieve slightly lower contributions for many of the aims we assessed than the other types of activities (“Doing”, “Organizing”). Regarding the social relation, contributions towards shared aims were significantly higher in case of SIE-initiatives working on a “Competition” setting, and significantly lower in case of SIE-initiatives that were in “Conflict” than for the other types of social relations (i.e. “Cooperation” and “Exchange”). Our conclusion was that not one evaluation method fits all SIEs and we explored in a workshop how innovative approaches such as media analysis (news databases, websites, social media) and web tracking (google analytics/facebook) might be used for future evaluations of SIEs.
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: School of Management and Law
Organisational Unit: Center for Energy and Environment (CEE)
Appears in collections:Publikationen School of Management and Law

Files in This Item:
There are no files associated with this item.
Show full item record
Betz, R., & Winzer, C. (2022). Social innovation in energy transition : evaluation challenges and innovative solutions [Conference paper]. Eceee Summer Study Proceedings, 551–557.
Betz, R. and Winzer, C. (2022) ‘Social innovation in energy transition : evaluation challenges and innovative solutions’, in eceee Summer Study Proceedings. eceee, pp. 551–557.
R. Betz and C. Winzer, “Social innovation in energy transition : evaluation challenges and innovative solutions,” in eceee Summer Study Proceedings, 2022, pp. 551–557.
BETZ, Regina und Christian WINZER, 2022. Social innovation in energy transition : evaluation challenges and innovative solutions. In: eceee Summer Study Proceedings. Conference paper. eceee. 2022. S. 551–557. ISBN 978-91-988270-1-9
Betz, Regina, and Christian Winzer. 2022. “Social Innovation in Energy Transition : Evaluation Challenges and Innovative Solutions.” Conference paper. In Eceee Summer Study Proceedings, 551–57. eceee.
Betz, Regina, and Christian Winzer. “Social Innovation in Energy Transition : Evaluation Challenges and Innovative Solutions.” Eceee Summer Study Proceedings, eceee, 2022, pp. 551–57.

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.