On 13-14 June 2018, the ENABLE.EU project held a stakeholder workshop on governance practices at the Center for the Study of Democracy in Sofia, Bulgaria, to discuss Europe’s transition towards a sustainable energy system. The workshop was attended by representatives from government agencies, research institutions and universities and business associations from across the EU and beyond, who discussed governance practices and quality of governance as drivers or obstacles for the public acceptability of the low-carbon energy transition in the areas of heating and cooling and prosumer practices.
The participants discussed seven areas of governance bottlenecks and obstacles for the public acceptability of low-carbon policies, as well as measures and possible solutions with regard to:
- Energy efficiency and prosumer practices in households;
- Energy poverty and the high cost of investment for RES installations;
- Costly administrative procedures and/or improper taxation;
- Low institutional administrative and professional capacity, especially at the regional/local level;
- A lack of strategic thinking and political commitment;
- The dominant position of incumbents in energy systems and policy;
- The low level of awareness and lack of transparency.
The ENABLE.EU project, which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme under grant agreement 727524, will aim to define the key determinants of individual and collective energy choices in three key consumption areas – transportation, heating & cooling, and electricity – and in the shift to prosumption (users-led initiatives of decentralised energy production and trade). The project will also investigate the interrelations between individual and collective energy choices and their impact on regulatory, technological and investment decisions. The analysis will be based on national household and business surveys in 11 countries, as well as research-area-based comparative case studies.