Our research fous

Energy transitions are at the heart of sustainable transformations. Sustainable energy transitions entail urgent challenges and opportunities to tackle climate change while improving well-being in inclusive and equitable societies. Science has excelled in understanding climate change and in advancing energy technologies. But now, the urgent and critical question is: How to make sustainable energy transitions happen?

The Energy in Transition Community (EiT Community) articulates such ‘How to’ questions on energy system- and societal- transformations by going beyond multidisciplinary research. We strive for transformative research while considering perspectives, concepts, and framings from energy science, natural sciences, social and behavioural sciences, law, economics, governance and humanities. Further, we aim for cooperations with external stakeholders to integrate practical knowledge into energy transition pathways.

Pathways to Sustainability

The EiT Community is working under the umbrella of the strategic theme Pathways to Sustainability, a strategic theme of Utrecht University. Excellent researchers from the humanities, social and natural sciences work together with external partners to develop a more sustainable society.

What is our aim?

Our Community aims to pursue innovative and robust transdisciplinary research to develop holistic approaches which contributes to the acceleration and upscaling of fair and sustainable energy transitions. Thereto, our community members from energy science, natural sciences, social and behavioural sciences, law, economy, governance and humanities formulate jointly transdisciplinary research questions. The research questions focus on ‘how to’ shape societal changes and implement technical solutions. The Community members engage with external stakeholders to co-develop and test solutions for practical solutions.

How do we want to achieve our ambition?

Energy transitions are strongly linked to societal changes and do not follow one univocal pathway. Creating globally aligned and locally-relevant pathways for energy transitions is complex and requires knowledge from different disciplines and societal stakeholders. Within this Community, the creation of such pathways is facilitated through transdisciplinary research projects, workshops to address barriers and enablers for successful transdisciplinary research and knowledge exchange.

Our research questions focus on developing influential perspectives and operational insights how technologies and societal choices can accelerate and shape sustainable and fair energy systems. In our research, we will build upon the lessons learned of the former Energy in Transition research Hub and by using a.o. The transdisciplinary field guide.