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Enabling the Energy Union through understanding the drivers of individual and collective energy choices in Europe

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ENABLE.EU (Enabling the Energy Union through understanding the drivers of individual and collective energy choices in Europe)

Reporting period: 2018-05-01 to 2019-10-31

The Energy Union Framework Strategy laid out on 25 February 2015 embraces a citizens-oriented energy transition. The low-carbon transformation of the energy system includes the development of sustainable energy production and energy efficiency. Resting on five pillars (Energy security, solidarity and trust; A fully integrated European energy market; Energy efficiency contributing to moderation of demand; Decarbonising the economy, and Research, Innovation and Competitiveness), it aims at enabling the delivery of the EU energy-climate objectives.
The final aim of this project was to contribute to more enlightened, research-based policy decisions, to ease the finding of the right incentives for the reaching of the twin goals of successful implementation of the Energy Union and Europe’s transition towards a decarbonised energy system of the future. To reach this final aim, ENABLE.EU will seek to provide an excellent understanding of the social and economic drivers of individual and collective energy choices with a focus on understanding changes in energy choice patterns.
The most relevant activities and results of the project were:
- Comprehensive literature review serving as a background for the subsequent activities within ENABLE.EU.
- Design, Implementation, data gathering and analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials in four countries (SR, BG, UK and DE).
- Examination of household adoption of energy efficiency measures funded by government policy support using logistic regression models. Further statistical matching and panel econometric estimations were conducted to examine the extent to which these measures have reduced energy consumption (UK).
- Review of the literature on changes in industrial CO2 emissions due to energy-related behaviour of firms and the influence of energy costs and prices. Completion of the STATA code and pre-processing of the dataset for the analysis of plant/firm-level data (Germany).
- Analysis on the influence of energy price movement on firm level environmental and economic performance using a novel econometric technique (France).
- Conducting online survey of business enterprises in eleven project countries and analysis of the collected data.
- Survey for households. It regrouped: a household sub-survey, 3 case study surveys on low carbon mobility, prosumers and heating/cooling. Data were analysed to provide a better understanding of households’ behaviours and evidence on the main factors (socioeconomic, informational, environmental, behavioral, preferences) affecting them. Statistical and an econometric analysis were performed.
- Review of literature on governance barriers for the social acceptability of energy transition technologies and policies as a preparatory step for the subsequent analysis.
- Elaboration of methodology and implementation of comparative case studies on governance barriers to energy transition in nine project’s countries (BG, FR, DE, HU, NO, PL, RS, UK, UA).
- Analysis of non-technical bottlenecks and challenges in the implementation of the EU SET-Plan.
- Conducting three governance workshops, engaging stakeholders in discussing and verifying research findings and the respective policy recommendations.
- Organisation of three Transition Workshops (with more than 160 participants, experts and citizens).
- Contributions to existing models and tools to better represent the drivers of energy-related household decisions.
- Creation of a modelling framework for Enable.EU soft-linking 7 different models operated by Cambridge Econometrics and REKK.
- Design and implementation of a set of modelling scenarios, informed by outputs from the other WPs.
- Design and submission of the communication materials (brochure, poster and project presentation) and launch of the project website.
- Social media channels created (LinkedIn, Twitter).
- E-Newsletter 1, 2 and 3 released.
- Regular publication of news items and results on and and on their respective social media channels (LinkedIn and Twitter).
- Synthesis of ENABLE.EU’s findings.
- Formulation of policy proposals.
- Organisation of several ENABLE.EU workshops and conferences to spread research findings and recommendations to EU, national and local stakeholders.
- Presentations in numerous events (e.g. EUSEW, COP24 in Katowice, EU Study Days in Odessa, Conference of the Spanish Association for Energy Economics, Elektrane Power Plants in Serbia, Central European Energy Conference in Bratislava, European Energy Transition Conference in Dunkirk).
- Publications of articles in journals and non-scientific media.
- Video presenting an energy transition scenario and a landing page with key findings and recommendations.
The expected Impact and contribution of ENABLE.EU project were as follows:
- To provide a better understanding of the factors driving individual and collective energy choices and their interrelations with technological, regulatory, investment-related aspect.
The analysis of households’ short-term energy choices provided a better understanding of the effectiveness of feedback and information policies. In terms of households’ long-term energy choices, both behavioural biases and policy regulations hindering the adoption of energy efficient appliances were investigated. Regarding companies’ energy choices, the changes in industry’s carbon emissions were decomposed into their different policy and structural drivers.
- The further advancement of the energy transition and ultimately the success and completion of the Energy Union.
Desk and field research, with regard to prosuming, mobility and heating and cooling as well as governmental bottlenecks, allowed to identify key hindering and supporting factors of national energy policies: deep analysis of the outcomes provided information on key barriers and opportunities, providing useful insights for the formulation of policy recommendations in the view to complete the Energy Union.
Based on the transition workshops, ENABLE.EU identified best practices of participatory methods. Contributions of citizens and energy experts in these workshops were the basis for the formulation of policy recommendations for policy-makers at local, national and EU level.
- The completion of the Energy Union's research and innovation pillar and the continued implementation of the Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan and especially the Action Plan based on the Integrated Roadmap.
The project assessed the implementation of the SET-Plan in the project countries, using desk research, email-based surveys and findings from field research (WP5). The activity identified the non-technical challenges (bottlenecks) in the governance of the EU SET-Plan implementation of national and EU level. The assessment is based on four group of indicators that could be seen as potential sources of non-technical bottlenecks: technical performance, economic performance, environmental performance and social performance. The findings were also reviewed by selected stakeholders and their feedback was used for the formulation of the policy recommendations.
ENABLE.EU formulated cross-cutting policy measures that can foster change in energy behaviours, norms, technologies and infrastructures in line with the energy transition. Findings from the projects as well as recommendations for governance of the energy transition, industry, energy efficiency, mobility and prosuming were disseminated to energy stakeholders.
Final Monitoring Table