A broad societal consensus is needed in order to achieve those elements of the “Energy Strategy 2050” that pertain to the consumption of energy. Such a consensus must include both the objectives envisaged and the measures that shall be taken. For such a consensus, individuals play a crucial role in their role as citizens as well as in their role as consumers. It is of importance what they consider to be the likely future impacts of energy policy measures on their own personal lives and how they evaluate these impacts and how this is linked to their approval/disapproval of objectives and measures.
The project endorses a stakeholder-oriented approach to energy consumption. It will build on the results of the research and synthesis processes within a research programme on sustainable consumption funded by the BMBF in Germany from 2008 to 2013, and will make its outcomes available for the implementation of the “Energy Strategy 2050”.
The aim of the project is to contribute towards a societal consensus on energy policy measures. To this end, the project will first examine which direct and indirect impacts individuals actually imagine to be the likely consequences of selected measures of energy policy and how they evaluate these impacts. Second, it will investigate how an educational intervention could change people’s perception and evaluation of these impacts (and how it could influence people’s willingness to embrace energy policy measures).
In phase 1 one of the research, the energy policy measures from the “Energy Strategy 2050” that are the most incisive for consumers will be identified by means of expert interviews. In order to explore people’s acceptance/rejection of measures, in phase 2, the method “Futures Wheel” will be used. The measures identified by means of the expert interviews will form the starting points. The respondents imagine the impacts these measures might have on their lifes and evaluate them in terms of how compatible they are with their personal quality of life. In phase 3, the respondents will be submitted to educational interventions differing in terms of content and then revise their Futures Wheels. This way the influence of the educational interventions and differences in effect will be identified.
The results of the project will provide a tried and tested basis for a more efficient delivery of the “Energy Strategy 2050” by contributing knowledge and materials which can be used in educational and communicative measures. In addition, the project will deliver a prioritisation of energy policy measures that are regarded as particularly important by a transdisciplinary group of experts and knowledge of how these measures would be accepted by the population.