Sociotechnical perspectives on energy: Integrating perspectives from the Humanities and social sciences into Swedish and International Energy policy
Anna Åberg and Martin Hultman at Chalmers STS-division have been asked by Swedish Energy Board, specifically Mehmet Bulut, to write up a task proposal for the International Energy Agency. Therefore we hereby apply for funding to cover the costs for writing up this task proposal, with the aim of establishing Chalmers as a leading milieu also in socio-technical energy research. During the past years, calls have been raised to include perspectives from social sciences and humanities both in cross-disciplinary research on energy and in energy policy (Sovacool et al., 2015; Foulds and Robinson, 2018; Åberg, Hoeffken, Lidström, 2018). On a European level, this has led to so called “energy-SSH” being specifically targeted in a set of Horizon2020 calls and included in many other calls for energy research. The Swedish Energy agency has also acknowledged this by launching a broad research program focusing on sociotechnical aspects of energy and energy transitions (Människa, Energi, Samhälle, MESAM) including gender, historical and sociological perspectives. The STS-division at Chalmers has been awarded several projects under this program. As a next step in this endeavour, the Energy agency has decided to approach the International Energy Agency with a task proposal to integrate sociotechnical perspectives into the work of the International Energy agency. The Swedish Energy Agency wants to take the lead on creating this new ‘task’ specifically dealing with the knowledge around socio-technical aspects of energy: the kind of knowledge very present at the STS-division at Chalmers. If the task proposal is accepted, the Swedish Energy Agency will fund a four-year research project at the STS-division on how to integrate Social sciences (including gender, science and technology studies, history,
ethics, behavioural sciences, etc) into the work of both the Swedish and the International Energy Agencies. For Chalmers and the STS-division this is a unique chance to influence both national and
international energy policy work in a direct manner, while also putting the gathered knowledge at our disposal at the STS department to the use of the Energy agency and their work to implement energy transitions bot in Sweden and internationally.
This proposal aims to employ a research assistant who, with a starting point in the gathered knowledge at the STS division, and together with the Energy agency, will formulate a proposal to the IEA for a new task focusing on sociotechnical perspectives on energy policy.
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