Responsive Organising for Low Emission Societies

Lead Research Organisation: University of Sussex
Department Name: University of Sussex Business School

Abstract

ROLES will identify how European city-regions can accelerate decarbonisation of energy systems through digitalisation of energy infrastructure, in ways that also create societal benefits. Despite citizen aspirations to decarbonise society, actions that decarbonise in just ways face structural limits. Emerging research suggests that the failure to accelerate deep decarbonisation is a crisis of accountability. Lack of accountability in digitalising energy infrastructure can exacerbate social exclusion and risks inequitable extraction and use of data.

ROLES will develop strategies for improving citizen involvement and agency to tackle this accountability crisis by exploring customisable pathways for city-regions. It will examine digitalisation of energy infrastructure in three mid-sized (population 100,000-300,000) European city-regions. Phase I (of III) will identify pathways to digitalise energy infrastructure that are both low carbon and beneficial to low income groups. It will focus on electric mobility hubs in Bergen, solar energy neighbourhoods in Brighton, and smart energy monitoring in Trento. Using multi-stakeholder interviews and 3 small-scale surveys (thirty people) with government, business, civil society, and marginalised groups, it will co-produce structured, in-depth knowledge about digitalisation needs and initiatives in each city-region. These will include the range of policy mixes and citizens' coping strategies and modes of engagement.

Phase II will identify constraining and enabling conditions for rapid diffusion of digitalisation along the pathways developed in Phase I. It will involve stakeholders in discussions at public events to develop pathways to accelerate deep decarbonisation through digitalisation. We will employs power cube analysis - a social science tool for analysing the levels, spaces and forms of power, and their interrelationship - to identify political economic power dynamics for each pathway.

Finally, Phase III will deliver a toolkit on responsive organising to accelerate the digitalisation of energy infrastructure for deep decarbonisation in mid-sized European city-regions. In addition, academic outputs will discuss dynamics of responsive organising in and across the cases.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Environmental Audit Committee submission to Technological Innovations and Climate Change: Community Energy
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
URL https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/23764/pdf/
 
Description Inclusion in the innovation of digital electricity 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact As part of Adrian Smith's research with the ROLES project, he attended a webinar organised by National Energy Action (NEA) on 26th May. The topic of the webinar is central to the ROLES project, 'digital inclusion and the UK energy system'. NEA is a fuel poverty charity that researches and advocates for the elimination of fuel poverty in the UK. The webinar brought together people from organisations working at the frontline with a diversity of groups already excluded or struggling to access energy services.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://roles.w.uib.no/2021/08/11/inclusion-in-the-innovation-of-digital-electricity/
 
Description ROLES February Newsletter 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Update on project activities across the case study countries.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://mailchi.mp/df5be69d6e2f/latest-news-from-the-roles-project
 
Description ROLES June Newsletter 2021 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Update on ROLES country case studies
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://mailchi.mp/df5be69d6e2f/latest-news-from-the-roles-project
 
Description Solar Neighbourhoods: Digitalisation, Decentralisation and the Rise of Prosumers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Explaining the UK case study on solar neighbourhoods and how prosumers can assist rollout of solar energy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
URL https://climatechangemitigation.eu/2022/01/solar-neighbourhoods-digitalisation-decentralisation-and-...