JP e3s - Economic, Environmental and Social Impacts of the Energy Transition is a crosscutting Joint Programme in the European Energy Research Alliance. We promote an energy transition where people and society are at the heart of solving our climate and ecological challenges. We do this through providing timely, high quality, rigorous research results that support policy making within our respective member states and across the European Union.
In the early 2000s, EU energy policy began to consider not just technical potentials, but topics such as energy security, energy markets, cost, and R&D priorities. In the research community, integrated assessment models continued to advance in sophistication and there was more demand from policy makers for support in determining optimal climate mitigation pathways as well as energy technology profiles. At the same time, the research in sustainable transition theory also came of age, combining aspects of management studies, economics, geography, engineering, natural sciences, political sciences, and sociology.
Amongst this background, EERA formed, structured around Joint Programmes (JPs) that each focused on a specific energy technologies. A network of researchers, headed by Daniela Velte at Tecnalia, recognized the need to create a JP that would advocate for more systemic thinking and that could integrate the work of other JPs. They therefore proposed creating JP e3s, which would focus on the economic, environmental and social impacts of energy policies and technologies. EERA JP e3s was successfully launched in 2013, with sub-programmes on public perception and engagement, analysis of innovation support for low carbon technologies, life cycle assessment for evaluating the sustainability of energy technologies, energy modelling for system assessment of low-carbon energy futures, and a sustainable low carbon platform.
As we enter the 2020s, we face an unprecedented challenge in transforming the European and global energy systems to meet our 2030 climate targets and sustainable development goals. The need for systemic thinking, understanding of social engagement and impacts, R&D priorities and implementation strategies, and policy support are as pressing as ever. EERA JP e3s, now coordinated by DTU, adjusted its focus to be on the energy transition, and thereby adopted a more flexible structure to be able to respond to calls and challenges as they emerge.
EERA JP e3s success is underscored by its consortium building for securing Horizon 2020 funding, providing a platform for timely dissemination of key research results and being instrumental in organizing high level policy workshops in Brussels. We strive to build on this success story to continue to support the energy transition.