Beyond technology: A research agenda for social sciences and humanities research on renewable energy in Europe

Krupnik S, Wagner A, Vincent O, Rudek TJ, Wade R, Mišík M, Akerboom S, Foulds C, Smith Stegen K, Adem , Batel S, Rabitz F, Certomà C, Chodkowska-Miszczuk J, Denac M, Dokupilová D, Leiren MD, Ignatieva MF, Gabaldón-Estevan D, Horta A, Karnøe P, Lilliestam J, Loorbach D, Mühlemeier S, Nemoz S, Nilsson M, Osička J, Papamikrouli L, Pellizioni L, Sareen S, Sarrica M, Seyfang G, Sovacool B, Telešienė A, Zapletalová V, von Wirth T (2022)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2022


Book Volume: 89

Article Number: 102536

DOI: 10.1016/j.erss.2022.102536


This article enriches the existing literature on the importance and role of the social sciences and humanities (SSH) in renewable energy sources research by providing a novel approach to instigating the future research agenda in this field. Employing a series of in-depth interviews, deliberative focus group workshops and a systematic horizon scanning process, which utilised the expert knowledge of 85 researchers from the field with diverse disciplinary backgrounds and expertise, the paper develops a set of 100 priority questions for future research within SSH scholarship on renewable energy sources. These questions were aggregated into four main directions: (i) deep transformations and connections to the broader economic system (i.e. radical ways of (re)arranging socio-technical, political and economic relations), (ii) cultural and geographical diversity (i.e. contextual cultural, historical, political and socio-economic factors influencing citizen support for energy transitions), (iii) complexifying energy governance (i.e. understanding energy systems from a systems dynamics perspective) and (iv) shifting from instrumental acceptance to value-based objectives (i.e. public support for energy transitions as a normative notion linked to trust-building and citizen engagement). While this agenda is not intended to be—and cannot be—exhaustive or exclusive, we argue that it advances the understanding of SSH research on renewable energy sources and may have important value in the prioritisation of SSH themes needed to enrich dialogues between policymakers, funding institutions and researchers. SSH scholarship should not be treated as instrumental to other research on renewable energy but as intrinsic and of the same hierarchical importance.

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Additional Organisation(s)

Involved external institutions

Universidad de Granada ES Spain (ES) Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) / Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam NL Netherlands (NL) Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH DE Germany (DE) University of Lisbon / Universidade de Lisboa (ULisboa) PT Portugal (PT) University of Maribor (UM) / Univerza v Mariboru SI Slovenia (SI) University of Sussex GB United Kingdom (GB) CICERO Center for International Climate Research / CICERO Senter for Klimaforskning NO Norway (NO) Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS) / Slovenská akadémia vied (SAV) SK Slovakia (SK) Iscte – Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL) / Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa PT Portugal (PT) Verband Schweizerischer Elektrizitätsunternehmen (VSE) CH Switzerland (CH) Università degli studi "La Sapienza" IT Italy (IT) Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) SE Sweden (SE) Public Administration Institute for Turkey and the Middle East (TODAIE) TR Turkey (TR) Aalborg University DK Denmark (DK) Universiteit Utrecht (UU) / Utrecht University NL Netherlands (NL) Comenius University Bratislava SK Slovakia (SK) University of Cambridge GB United Kingdom (GB) Queen's University GB United Kingdom (GB) Jagiellonian University / Uniwersytet Jagielloński (UJ) PL Poland (PL) University of East Anglia GB United Kingdom (GB) Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) LT Lithuania (LT) Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté FR France (FR) University of Turin / Università degli Studi di Torino (UNITO) IT Italy (IT) University of València / Universitat de València ES Spain (ES) Masaryk University CZ Czech Republic (CZ) Nicolaus Copernicus University (NCU) / Uniwersytet Mikołaja Kopernika w Toruniu (UMK) PL Poland (PL) University of Pisa / Università di Pisa (UniPi) IT Italy (IT) University of Stavanger / Universitetet i Stavanger NO Norway (NO) Universität Potsdam DE Germany (DE)

How to cite


Krupnik, S., Wagner, A., Vincent, O., Rudek, T.J., Wade, R., Mišík, M.,... von Wirth, T. (2022). Beyond technology: A research agenda for social sciences and humanities research on renewable energy in Europe. Energy Research & Social Science, 89.


Krupnik, S., et al. "Beyond technology: A research agenda for social sciences and humanities research on renewable energy in Europe." Energy Research & Social Science 89 (2022).

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