Skip navigation
Journal article

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

To instigate the future research agenda for the social sciences and humanities (SSH) in renewable energy sources research, the authors employed a series of in-depth interviews, deliberative focus group workshops and a systematic horizon scanning process. They tapped the expert knowledge of 85 researchers from the field with diverse disciplinary backgrounds and expertise. The outcome was a set of 100 priority questions for future research within SSH scholarship on renewable energy sources.

Måns Nilsson / Published on 8 March 2022

Read the paper  Closed access


Krupnik, S., Wagner, A., Koretskaya, O., Rudek, T. J., Wade, R., Mišík, M., Akerboom, S., Foulds, C., Stegen, K. S., Adem, Ç., Batel, S., Rabitz, F., Certomà, C., Chodkowska-Miszczuk, J., Denac, M., Dokupilová, D., Leiren, M. D., Ignatieva, M. F., Gabaldón-Estevan, D., … 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, 102536.

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, the authors argue that it advances the understanding of SSH research on renewable energy sources and may have important value in the prioritization 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.

For the questions, see 100 Social Sciences and Humanities priority research questions for renewable energy in Horizon Europe ( published in November 2020.

Read the paper

Closed access

SEI author

Måns Nilsson
Måns Nilsson

Executive Director

SEI Headquarters

Design and development by Soapbox.