Fundamental trends in the European Union and the world at large provide an increasingly important policy agenda for financing sustainable energy in terms of energy efficiency, innovation in energy exploitation and development of renewable resources. The long-range forecasts for investments and energy market are determined by highly interconnected environmental, geological and technological research despite scientific differences in modelling the scenarios and interpreting the data. The medium-range forecasts for investments and energy market largely depend on geopolitical considerations and internal pressure by public opinion and stakeholders. States, firms and other actors play their game within the current legal framework at the international, regional and national level. Accordingly, the proper policy design for the sustainable energy needs to be complemented by research on the legal, regulatory and geopolitical side.
However, the characteristics of social sciences which drive their approach to such issues are determined by their fragmentation into sectoral domains and national traditions. It is commonly agreed that there are great benefits in overcoming the disciplinary divisions combining scientific, social and economic considerations in order to assess the policy impact of sustainable energy.
The evaluation of the policies for sustainable energy investments requires to connect several national approaches on such topics, not only in Europe, where the fragmentation of social sciences into national traditions is a matter of fact. In turn, the global nature of the questions addressed by the project needs to be implemented through an IRSES programme in order to strengthen the research partnerships between European research organisations and research organisations from crucial world regions as far as European interests for energy matters are concerned.
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