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Concept & Methodology

ENCLUDE is based on a participatory concept that ensures the inclusivity of different types of people, methodologies, and scales of applications throughout the project. Additionally, ENCLUDE takes an inter- and transdisciplinary, mixed methods and iterative approach to reaching its goals to support decarbonization efforts in Europe.

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Concept

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ENCLUDE integrates the inclusive involvement of citizens with scientists, policymakers and business leaders, specifically for decarbonization throughout its entire research cycle. This integration means that an intentionally inclusive and diverse group of stakeholders are contributing to the research in all stages of our work, including the creation of new knowledge and the dissemination of outputs. This is what we define as applying transdisciplinarity, a necessary characteristic of a participatory research and innovation proposal, as defined by the EU Commission (more detail later in the section). Our transdisciplinary approach acknowledges and values different types of knowledge outside of science and research and includes experiences valuable for policy-making and understanding the phenomenon of energy citizenship. This concept, therefore, emphasizes the inclusivity of people.


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ENCLUDE uses a qualitative and quantitative mixed-methods approach that is determined by project objectives, rather than dictated by disciplinary habits and comfort zones. This pragmatist approach to research means that the researchers do not judge an approach by whether it is qualitative or quantitative, or on one’s personal biases for particular methods, but rather by choosing the methods which best achieve the aims of the project. This concept emphasizes the inclusivity of methodological approaches and mindsets. Our consortium brings together a range of qualitative approaches and quantitative modeling tools to support meetings our three core objectives drawing from a range of disciplines. This concept, therefore, emphasizes the inclusivity of methodological approaches.


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ENCLUDE’s research outcomes are continuously informed by new discoveries during the research process; however, we believe that our responsibility is to make this output easily understandable and directly applicable for policymakers, citizens and relevant businesses. For instance, we target our audience especially local and regional authorities who may not otherwise have resources to access state-of-the-art knowledge on the topic of energy citizenship and the energy transition. In this way, outputs can be used at different scales and contexts of policymaking. Policies supporting energy citizenship then signal to the market or businesses the potential opportunities to develop energy citizenship initiatives. This concept, therefore, emphasizes the inclusivity of scales of application.


Methodology

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According to this approach, individuals, but also collectives develop a “culture of dealing with energy” that is seen as primarily arising from the interactions between three components: norms (e.g., expectations about what is ‘normal behavior’), material culture (e.g. accessible energy-related technologies) and energy practices (energy-related actions and habits). These components in turn are subject to broader influences (“external influences”). The Energy cultures framework can be used on different social levels and it can validly represent the Energy Culture of individuals in their environment as well as that of more complex social units such as households or larger social groups.


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ENCLUDE will contribute to a more holistic modeling of the energy citizenship concept, exploring the multi-scale relationship between its various forms and the decarbonization of the energy system at the local level, and when scaling up to the national or regional level. Feasible and robust decarbonization pathways, which are agreed by, and co-produced with citizens and communities, and can realistically be implemented by policymakers and other relevant stakeholders, will be modeled via agent-based, demand-side management and IAM modeling architectures.


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Clustering will cut across groups of citizens, revealing ‘hidden’ commonalities when it comes to decarbonization aspects. Through the application of appropriate methods, ENCLUDE’s clustering aims to enable the use of data types that are easily accessible to policymakers and can be associated with the decarbonization potential of different groups of citizens. The decarbonization potential of the clusters will be modeled and upscaled by means of ENCLUDE’s energy models enabling the classification of citizens in relation to their decarbonization potential.


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The project work will follow the EU's requirements of actively improving gender equality. Gender will be considered in many aspects of the project, for instance, understanding of underlying socio-economic conditions/barriers of existing Nationally Determined Contributions, deriving national pathways that take improving gender equality into account, and validating the integrated gender-responsive effectiveness and feasibility of policy and governance options.