The Swiss Federal Office of Energy aims to involve the Social Sciences and Humanities more intensively in research activities

The Swiss Federal Office of Energy aims to involve the Social Sciences and Humanities more intensively in research activities

The Swiss Federal Office of Energy aims to involve the Social Sciences and Humanities more intensively in research activities In order to achieve Switzerland’s energy and climate targets in 2050, both technical/scientific research and social/humanistic research are crucial. Many technologies for achieving these targets are already available today, but for a variety of reasons are either not yet or only partially used. Research in the Social Sciences and Humanities can provide important insights into these reasons and thus makes decisive contributions to achieving the targets.

Therefore, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), with its various funding programmes, aims to involve the Social Sciences and Humanities more intensively in research activities in the energy sector and is organizing several events together with the Swiss Academy of Humanities and Social Sciences (SAHS/SAGW). Inhalt     25 June: Webinar on Energy and Climate Policy: Contribution of the Social Sciences and Humanities     2 July: Workshop on energy research in the field of mobility     Background information
25 June: Webinar on Energy and Climate Policy: Contribution of the Social Sciences and Humanities Together with the SFOE, the SAGW is organizing a webinar on 25 June, 2021, 10:00–11:00 am, on the federal government’s energy and climate targets with a focus on the buildings and mobility sectors. Apart from presenting an overview of the challenges, the focus will be on the inclusion of the Social Sciences and Humanities in order to attain the energy and climate targets. Subsequently, the SFOE’s funding instruments will be presented.
 
Agenda of the webinar
05′ Welcome (Dr. Markus Zürcher, SAGW)15′ Challenges in achieving the energy and climate targets (Dr. Luca Castiglioni, SFOE)10′ Significance of the Social Sciences and Humanities for the energy and climate strategy (Prof. Michael Stauffacher, ETHZ)10′ Experience report (Prof. Isabelle Stadelmann, University of Berne)10′ Presentation of SFOE funding instruments (Dr. Andreas Haselbacher, SFOE)05′ Examples of SFOE research projects (Dr. Wolfgang Elsenbast, SFOE) 10′ Q&AConclusion and next events (Dr. Markus Zürcher, SAGW)Registration: The webinar is free. Registration is required before 23 June via e-mail: marie.steck@sagw.ch (name, first name, institution). You will receive the link shortly before the webinar. Language: English 2 July: Workshop on energy research in the field of mobility On 2 July, 2021, 9:00–12:00 am, the SFOE is organizing a workshop in Berne. At this workshop, researchers from the Social Sciences and Humanities, together with researchers from the technical and scientific disciplines, will develop research questions and project ideas on the subject of mobility.
 
To this end, four dedicated working groups will be formed. Each working group consists of four researchers from the Social Sciences and Humanities and two researchers from the technical and natural science disciplines. The SFOE is especially interested in researchers from the fields of communication, media, politics, law, economics, sociology, and social psychology who intend to expand their research activities in the energy field. The 16 spots for the Social Sciences and Humanities researchers and 8 spots for researchers from the technical and scientific disciplines will be assigned on a first-come-first-serve basis. SFOE is responsible for assigning the participants to the groups.

The four working groups will develop proposals that are intended to help the SFOE better align future calls for proposals with the Social Sciences and Humanities and to strengthen their interaction with technical and scientific disciplines.
 
Tentative schedule of the workshop
09:00–09:10: Welcome, workshop information and goals (SFOE) 09:10–09:50: Key notes: Challenges of the Swiss transport sector, mobility behaviour (tbd)09:50–10:50: Discussion groups10:50–11:00: Break11:00–11:30: Plenary discussion11:30–11:40: Wrap-up & outlook (SFOE)Registration for the workshop: The time stamp of your registration on Survey Monkey is decisive. The same form on Survey Monkey also offers the possibility to subscribe to the newsletter, which will regularly inform you about calls for proposals from the SFOE. Language: English    Register for the workshop Background information Many technologies are available to achieve Switzerland’s net zero targets, yet they have to be implemented.

In May 2021, the International Energy Agency (IEA) published the report «Net-Zero by 2050: A roadmap for the global energy sector». The report lists(1) energy efficiency,(2) behavioural changes,(3) electrification,(4) renewable energy,(5) hydrogen and(6) hydrogen-based fuels,(7) bioenergy and (8) CCUS as the most important pillars for the decarbonisation of the global energy system (in that order).

Furthermore, the report concludes that most of the global CO2 reductions by 2030 can be achieved with technologies that are already available today. In 2050, however, almost half of the reductions will come from technologies that are currently only being tested in demonstration projects or are available as prototypes. In order to achieve the reduction goals, not only are further technical innovations needed, but existing technologies must be widely adopted and used also. This requires that many social issues, such as questions of acceptance to legal issues or ethical questions are addressed.

The Federal Energy Research Commission recommends strong cooperation with the Social Sciences and Humanities.
 
Every four years, the Federal Energy Research Commission (CORE) prepares the federal energy research masterplan. In the current «Federal Energy Research Masterplan for the period from 2021 to 2024», the interdisciplinary development of new, technically feasible and socially accepted energy technologies is seen as the most important goal. The increasing importance of cross-sectional technologies urgently calls for a strong cooperation between the technical disciplines and the Social Sciences and Humanities.

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