Skip to main content
European Commission logo print header

COllective action Models for Energy Transition and Social Innovation

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - COMETS (COllective action Models for Energy Transition and Social Innovation)

Reporting period: 2020-11-01 to 2022-04-30

COMETS aimed at investigating Collective Action Initiatives – CAIs (such as energy communities, energy cooperatives and similar community based initiatives) as the main driver of social innovation in the energy sector.
More specifically, the objectives of COMETS are:
1. To build robust knowledge on social innovative processes in the energy transition as implemented by CAIs. COMETS will generate and test new knowledge about technical, institutional, economic, social and cultural factors and their interaction that may facilitate or hinder sustained activities of CAIs. The project will provide new tools for the assessment of CAIs performance and will provide aggregate estimates of their current and potential contribution to the energy transition.
2. To provide tools and recommendations for improving the start-up, steering, and up-scaling of CAI activities. COMETS will co-design the tools with practitioners, enabling changes in the current situation and generating blueprints for future initiatives.

The ambition is to trigger a shift in the scientific comprehension of the dynamics behind the development of such initiatives and to produce novel knowledge and tools to support the decision making process at the level of CAIs and of the main public and private actors on the energy system. The deep understanding of the trajectories of these initiatives has been growing relevance in recent years in view of the implementation at the national level of the EU directives (2018/2001, 2019/944) that paved the way for CAIs establishment.
The overall objective of COMETS is to investigate CAIs and all their associated social factors. In addition to social factors, the complexity of the energy transition results also from the co-evolution of technological and institutional factors.

The expected impacts of COMETS is many-fold. Firstly, the project will advance the scientific knowledge on the motives, desires, objectives and barriers of such CAIs and their historical and future role in the energy transition. Building on the information gathered and tested for its robustness, COMETS will co-develop and test supportive tools together with CAI members, decision makers and the scientific community. 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.

Among many others reuslts all avaialble on the projects' website (http://www.comets-project.eu/). the following research ouputs deserved to be mentioned for their relevance in maximising the impact of the project:
a) Definition of a typology of CAIs able to provide the descriptive dimensions and the KPI determinants of CAIs in the energy transition. The analysis profiles CAIs to offer survey-based and qualitative criteria to characterize CAIs themselves and their performance in driving technical, economic, and social innovation in the energy transition (deliverable 3.3). The survey data have been opened in Zenodo and are avaialble at https://zenodo.org/record/6772350#.YrxD1nZByUk.
b) Around 30 Comparative case studies for an in-depth comprehension of conditions, factors and barriers for CAIs development in the six COMETS countries and their potential in terms of social innovation of activities and services to meet a social need (deliverable 4.2).
c) Six participatory case-studies through which it was possible to defin scenarios and roadmaps that gathers the results of a participatory activities aimed at defining possible and desirable futures for the CAIs involved (deliverable 5.2).
d) A manual for inspiring policy design at EU and National Level that provides recommendations at supranational level and suggests roadmaps at national level to support decision makers designing strategies to boost the growth and wide spread of the CAIs and, ultimately, increase social innovation (deliverable 5.3).
e) A EU wide Inventory of CAIs that consists of a priceless new open database with around 10000 entries reporting data about CAIs all over Europe. The inventory has been opened in the platform dataverse.no and is now available at https://dataverse.no/dataset.xhtml?persistentId=doi:10.18710/2CPQHQ
All work in the first reporting period has been ensured by the Coordinator, UNITO, to be performed in a timely manner and with the highest standard. Risk management and quality assurance measures have been applied by the Coordinator to ensure objectives and results are achieved. Out of all deliverables in the first reporting period, only one was delayed beyond the scope of this period (D7.4 :Mid-term conference). This is due to the covid emergency and postponement of D3.3 Survery Analysis, which is crucial for scientific discussions at the conference.

The following is a summary of work performed and main results so far (as of October 2020):

MANAGEMENT
- Project Management Plan
- internal Collaboration infrastructure
- Data Management Plan
- Key meetings: Two General Assemblies (included Kick-off conference in Turin); four Executive board meetings; two Advisory Board Meetings;

KNOWLEDGE BUILDING:
- Report on working definition of CAIs
- Report on the evolution of the context and energy sector in the 6 EU COMETS countries (Belgium, Estonia, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland and Spain)
- Survey of Collective Action Initiatives in Europe (over 200 replies from the 6 COMETS countries)
- Inventory of energy CAIs in Europe
- Validation Framework (to implement the 'best available knolwedge' model)
- Set of Indicators for assessing CAIs performance
- 30 Case Studies in the six COMETS countries
- 6 Participatory Case Studies one per each COMETS country
- 6 Scenarios and Roadmaps at national level
- 1 Manual for inspiring policy design at National and European level

DISSEMINATION, COMMUNICATION AND EXPLOITATION:
- Dissemination, Communication and Exploitation Plan (continously updated)
- COMETS website www.comets-project.eu
- Supporting web platform for CAIs development - COMETS-Communities for Future (CfF) https://communitiesforfuture.org/collaborate/
- Continuous Social media presence: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
- Ongoing liaising with other Social Innovation projects and related EU funded initiatives to identify and exploit synergies;
- 13 publications
- 42 Conference participations
- 41 workshop/seminars participations
COMETS is bridging the knowledge gaps about CAIs contribution to energy transition through its comprehensive analytical framework and the quantitative Inventory.

A future scenario building process together with the CAIs will define and envisage plausible and desirable futures for them. The futures previously developed will serve as a starting point to develop roadmaps to reach them, with the active participation of the CAIs involved. It will also build strategic roadmaps at national level for supporting social innovation in the energy sector.

The CfF platform is aimed at facilitating the development, improvement and reinforcement of CAIs themselves and facilitating a robust network building.

The expected impact is to empower citizens and increase their awareness about their potential role in the energy transition and to provide CAIs and decision makers with effective tools to steer the development of community-based initiatives in the nergy sector.