Sustainability and social justice dimension indicators for applied renewable energy research: A responsible approach proposal
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Aspects of sustainability and social justice deserve special attention in the research and innovation landscape in Europe. In this vein, the inclusion of innovative research and innovation policies, such as Responsible Research and Innovation, devoted to mainstream social outcomes, to deploy democratic
governance of science, and to drive innovation into a direction that is ethically acceptable, societally desirable and sustainable are noteworthy. However, substantial efforts are required when it comes to integrate the interactions between renewable energy research and energy and climate policies within responsible approaches. In order to adapt responsible research and innovation approach for the purpose of building an alternative context and assessment approach for sustainable transitions, this paper presents a review of approaches around sustainability and social justice dimensions. The thresholds of this endeavour are detailed in terms of the challenges for the integration, the identification of the inhibitors and facilitators of policy integration and the proposal of the levels for a methodology for this integration. The results show that the different readings and understanding of the contexts and dimensions and the existence of knowledge gaps between policy targets and the outcomes of research and innovation can be considered inhibitors for the integration. In contrast the interlinks between dimensional concepts, backgrounds and rationales appear as facilitators. The innovative contribution of this paper is focused on the contextualization of the dimensions through the use of socio-technical and multi/inter/trans and cross-disciplinary approaches. The authors conclude that the process of introducing a more holistic and alternative approach opens the re-envision of policy elements. Moreover, RRI offers an innovative perspective to the transition approach as well as tools for decision-making and policy processes assessment, in an arena where constant innovation is taking place and new structures, processes and metrics are necessary to guide this process.
Is part ofApplied Energy, 2019, vol. 252, p. 113429 (26 pp)
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