IVM-VU researchers contribute to launch Our Energy platform

Our Energy is a new online source for energy education and awareness-raising for EU citizens and energy communities. The platform is launched as part of the NEWCOMERS project, an EU Horizon 2020 project led by researchers Julia Blasch and Nicolien van der Grijp of the Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) at VU Amsterdam.

12/10/2020 | 10:00 AM

Making energy-related knowledge easier accessible
Our Energy primarily targets energy communities, their members, and other interested EU citizens, as well as policy-makers and decision-makers, corporate actors, researchers, and other key stakeholders involved in the achievement of low-carbon energy transitions. The mission of the platform is to convey long and complicated, often academic texts into shorter, easily digestible chunks of knowledge, promoting energy-related knowledge and supporting energy communities in their path to success.

The platform offers interactive, short multimedia presentations, enriched with videos, infographics, statistical data, quizzes and other dynamic means of sharing knowledge. All content is expert-reviewed and enriched with short statements by subject-matter experts. Blasch: “The Our Energy platform is needed as an easily accessible source of information and inspiration for existing energy communities but also for interested EU citizens, who consider setting up or joining an energy community. We hope that the platform will help realize the potential of energy communities in the transition towards more sustainable energy systems.”

Insights from IVM research
Project leaders Blasch and van der Grijp, as well as IVM researchers Daniel Petrovics and Bianca Vermeer contributed to the launch of the platform and will regularly add insights from their own research. Van der Grijp: “We shared a short explanation of the novel theoretical framework that we are using, which is based on the polycentric governance theory, and is especially focused on mechanisms of learning between and within energy communities.” Besides the findings from the NEWCOMERS project also other EU Horizon 2020 sister projects and other organizations are involved and invited to share their knowledge.

NEWCOMERS (New Clean Energy Communities in a Changing European Energy System) is a Horizon 2020 funded project, exploring new clean energy communities using a highly innovative holistic approach, drawing on cutting-edge theories and methods from a broad range of social sciences coupled with strong technical knowledge and industry insight.

The goal of the project is to deliver practical recommendations about how the European Union, as well as national and local governments, can support new clean energy communities to help them flourish and unfold their potential benefits for citizens and the European Energy Union. The NEWCOMERS consortium consists of eight partners from six different EU Member States: Sweden, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Germany, Slovenia and Italy.