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System Integration and Networks for the Energy Supply (Energy Transition Navigation System) - Kopernikus research project for the energy transition in Germany

Brief description

ENavi is one of the four Kopernikus research projects dedicated to research on the transition to a sustainable energy system in Germany ("Energiewende"). It takes a system analytical perspective that is informed by social sciences. ENavi approaches the energy transition as a process of broad societal transformation and investigates the respective roles of technological, economic, political, and social systems within this transition. It focuses on the interaction of the three sectors heat, electricity, and mobility, develops options for implementation of the energy transition through improved integration of these sectors, and explores the effects of different options in relation to the different systems. The project's main aims are to generate robust knowledge that helps to understand the complex processes in the context of the energy transition, above all with a view to organizing the transformation process in a humane manner, and to test this knowledge in an exemplary manner by using model regions and real-world laboratories.

DIALOGIK contribution

DIALOGIK leads subproject 12 (AP12), entitled "Transdisciplinary Discourse and Competence Teams", jointly with the project partners Zivilgesellschaftliche Plattform Forschungswende and the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS). AP12 is one of the two subprojects of ENavi (besides AP13 "Model Regions"), which are devoted mainly to generating "transformation knowledge" (dealing with questions of how current practices can be changed and new practices introduced). AP12 supports the implementation of the transdisciplinary approach of ENavi and pursues the following objectives:

  • To integrate information, ideas and inquiries from industry/economy, civil society, and politics into the research of ENavi;
  • To organize forums in which representatives of these sectors discuss and critically reflect on preliminary project results, especially regarding the appropriateness and effectiveness of options for implementation of the energy transition;
  • To analyze and provide support for the transdisciplinary approach of ENavi on the basis of a conceptual and methodical framework and to strengthen this approach through a formative evaluation of its design and implementation.

The main instrument of AP12 to integrate societal actors and insights into the scientific discourse and to ensure the continuous exchange between academics and practitioners in the ENavi project are "Competence Teams" that are composed of experts from relevant fields of practice. Each Competence Team brings together individuals which have special expertise and experience in one or more of the following three fields of action of energy supply due to the fields of activity of their organizations:

  • Competence Team I (CI): Mobility
  • Competence Team II (CII): Infrastructure/Power Grids
  • Competence Team III (CIII): Heat/Buildings ("Heat" covers space and water heating for buildings and process heating for industry).

The members of the Competence Teams are mainly from organizations related to economic and service sectors (including associations).

Besides co-leading AP12 DIALOGIK contributes to AP11 ("Evaluation Criteria") and is member of the Steering Group of ENavi (AP0 "Coordination").

Project partners

ENavi comprises 60 project partner (24 research institutes, 18 university institutes, three non-governmental organizations, nine business enterprises, four Stadtwerke (municipal utilities), two regional authorities). Additionally, more than 20 competence partners (mainly from the economic sector) contribute their practice experiences.

These are the project partners of AP12:

  • Lead: DIALOGIK; Plattform Forschungswende; IASS (see above)
  • INEP - Internationales Institut für Nachhaltiges Energiemanagement, Politik, Risiko und Soziale Innovationen, Oldenburg/Hannover
  • Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung (ISOE), Frankfurt a.M.
  • Reiner-Lemoine-Institut gGmbH, Berlin