CORDIS - EU research results

COllective action Models for Energy Transition and Social Innovation

Project description

Citizens’ participation in low carbon energy transition

Low carbon energy transition is an important target of the EU. The role citizens can play in the transition process is critical. Social innovation can boost citizens’ participation. In addition, collective action initiatives (CAIs) encourage citizens’ mobilisation and ensure the public’s contribution in the transition process. However, there is a lack of understanding on CAI development as well as in estimating its entire potentiality. The EU-funded COMETS project will investigate CAI evolution and contribution in the energy transition efforts at EU and national level in six countries. COMETS aims to enrich our scientific understanding of the incentives and aspirations of CAIs, its limitations, as well as its historical and future performance in the energy transition.


There are large knowledge gaps around the governance of the low carbon energy system transition in a smooth and participative way, ensuring that citizens are at the centre of the required fundamental transformation and enabling the full efflorescence of their creative potential. Social innovation is a prime way to tap into that potential while Collective Action Initiatives (CAIs), a social innovation in itself, are a prime way to mobilize people and to ensure the acceptance for and participation in the necessary transition process. However, both social innovation and CAIs lack proper scientific and field-tested understanding of their development and factors for success. As of today, the role of citizen-driven CAIs (e.g. energy communities, cooperatives, purchasing groups) and their contribution to the energy transition has neither been quantified at an aggregate level, nor has their contribution potential been estimated or understood in sufficient depth. The COMETS project aims to fill these knowledge gaps by quantifying the European-wide aggregate contribution of CAIs to the energy transition at national and European levels by investigating their evolution and scaling up at an in-depth level in six selected countries. The main expected impacts of the project are two-fold. Firstly, COMETS will advance the scientific knowledge on the motives, desires, objectives and barriers of such collective action initiatives and their historical and future role in the energy transition. Building on the information gathered and tested for its robustness, we will then co-develop and test supportive tools together with CAI members, decision makers and the scientific community. Lastly, these stakeholders will then be able to exploit the main outputs of COMETS, namely a Supporting Platform for CAIs, the enhanced knowledge base, scenarios and roadmaps for spreading CAI models, even after the project is concluded.

Call for proposal


See other projects for this call

Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 444 572,50
10124 Torino

See on map

Nord-Ovest Piemonte Torino
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 444 572,50

Participants (11)