Energy Platforms and the Future of Energy Citizenship
Wageningen University, Netherlands, The
The recent emergence of digital platforms for energy provisioning enables new forms of access to and exchange of (green) energy for consumers. Provenance platforms such as the Dutch Powerpeers offer people the possibility to choose the prosumer they wish to buy electricity from. In community platforms, prosumers with lithium batteries can “intelligently” share their (excess) energy. Such new ways of hooking up to the grid may problematise existing energy practices and facilitate new ones. In this paper we examine how platforms are becoming a means for people to engage with energy and the energy system, thus allowing new enactments of energy citizenship. Drawing on a case study of a “virtual power plant” demonstration project in Amsterdam, we map the way this energy platform constrains and enables the energy practices of its users, and discuss the notions of energy citizenship it thereby promotes and frustrates. We show how existing practices of monitoring and timing energy practices are disturbed by the new layer of exchange, while at the same time issues such as grid balance and energy equity become visible.
Factors Explaining Energy Consumption Behaviour Intentions in Lithuania
Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania
Energy – and its consumption is the prerequisite for existence of the contemporary society, which encourages investing into these sectors, which leads to significantly increased renewable energy usage in all EU-28-member states since 1990’s (Eurostat, 2018). However, final energy consumption in households increased significantly in comparison with other sectors (EEA, 2018). To ensure a stable and sustainable development, the political initiatives and investments into specific sectors are not sufficient. Society must be involved in this process not only by acknowledging the fact that the worlds’ climate is changing but by taking actions on their own individual level as well. By changing their behaviour in energy use, individuals could add in their effort to reduce their impact on climate change. However, the attitude-behaviour gap towards climate change is not always directly connected.
This presentation highlights the attitude and behaviour gap, which comes from the concerns on climate change and behavioural intentions. Quantitative data analysis based on representative survey conducted in 2018 October – November in Lithuania reflects the differences in environmental attitudes and behavioural intentions on limiting energy usage. For explaining the possible reasons of these differences between attitudes and intentions the theory of planned behaviour by Icek Ajzen has been selected. Explanatory research of the relation between environmental attitudes and intentions hasn’t been conducted in Lithuania yet.
This presentation is based on a research project Public Perceptions of Climate Change: Lithuanian case in a European Comparative Perspective, funded by a grant (No. S-MIP‐17-126) from the Research Council of Lithuania.
Digital deliberation as advocacy: the case of the New Energy Policy campaign in Finland
University of Helsinki, Finland
Social media offers a new platform for democratic deliberation and the emergence of new advocacy groups. Especially policy debate, or mulling over minute details of legislative proposals, citing scientific research with careful rhetoric and engaging into citizen initiatives and interventions has a new, modern forum. Whereas traditional advocacy groups would usually have some barriers of entry and require those joining to devote a large amount of time and effort to participating, social media opens up pathways for more fleeting,
This paper looks at the emergent network in such deliberation: The empirical case of this paper is Finnish energy policy debate. As part of the Finnish debate over climate change and energy transition, an open Facebook discussion group was founded, and has attracted a range of discussants, from academics to high-level professionals to lay people, supporting different technological and policy solutions. With more than 4 000 members, 5 000 discussion threads, and 70 000 messages, there is a breadth of analyses, arguments, and debates.
The paper takes a big data machine learning approach to analyze the network structure of this debate. On Facebook, emergent networks of liking posts by other users, commenting positively and negatively on their posts, and commenting with either similar or dissimilar framings of the key issues on the post become a flowing network of discussion. Traditional qualitative approaches to policy framing can capture some of these dynamics, but the combination of social network analysis and the natural language processing methods of topic modelling and sentiment analysis allows mapping the evolution of a large, emergent deliberation community.
Low Income Households’ Energy-related Attitudes in the Focus of Climate Change
Center for Social Sciences at Hunagarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary
Society is increasingly dependent on energy: more and more activities which constitute individuals’ membership in contemporary society require energy. In terms of the factors influencing energy behaviours, personal factors have been considered in many studies. The most recent behavioural methodologies suggest the consideration of not only the individual and personal characteristics of residents, but also the features of their social context.
Access to energy becomes a significant factor in social inclusion and exclusion. This aspect also plays a key role in certain definitions of energy poverty. The household is energy poor if it is unable to obtain the amount of energy that allows it to participate in activities which define membership in society.
Our paper analyses a special social problem, the interrelation between energy poverty and climate change.
Energy poor households can be specifically exposed to effects of climate change (e.g. extreme cold or hot conditions), and the energy use of energy poor households may affect factors that increase climate change (e.g. the use of solid fuels leads to high black carbon emissions) .
These factors make the analysis of energy poor households in terms of their energy use and energy-related attitudes highly relevant. The paper, after a brief introduction concerning energy poverty in Hungary, provides such an analysis based on data of ESS 8. round: we examine the energy saving attitudes in the scope of climate change issues on an internationally comparable database, focusing on low-income social groups, more exposed to energy poverty.