The evidence is in: a clear majority of Germans support renewable energy expansion (82%) and view the energy transition as a collaborative effort that requires everyone to do their share (83%). At the same time, many perceive the actual implementation process as chaotic and unfair and criticise the lack of opportunities for civil society to participate in shaping the transformation.
The ENGAGE project addresses this point by exploring the potential for social innovation to create a more inclusive energy transition. On 18 October 2021, IKEM celebrated the official project kick-off with partners 100 prozent erneuerbar stiftung, Bündnis Bürgerenergie and eueco GmbH.
One of the main goals of the project is to develop the Energiewende-O-Mat, which matches participants with the project most suited to their interests and goals – from community energy to crowdfunding, cooperatives and local green hydrogen.
Anika Nicolaas Ponder, the head of IKEM’s Sustainability and Innovation Team, is excited about the future of the project.
‘ENGAGE harnesses the power of social innovation,’ she said. ‘The Energiewende-O-Mat provides a one-stop shop for all citizens who want to participate socially or financially in an energy transition project. ENGAGE puts people at the forefront of system transformation and conducts innovative research on the latest participation models and on how we can facilitate the spread of these models to achieve an energy transition for all.’
She added: ‘We can’t wait to get started. Power to the people!’