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Call for nominations: a systemic approach to the energy transition in Europe

08 May 2020

Experts are needed for a new project on the energy pathways in Europe

The European Scientific Advice Mechanism provides independent and transparent scientific advice to the European Commission, working with a European Commission Group of Chief Scientific Advisors and the European Academies (SAPEA). SAPEA (Science Advice for Policy by European Academies) comprises the five European Academy Networks: Academia Europaea, ALLEA, EASAC, Euro-CASE and FEAM – representing over 100 Academies in over 40 European countries, and spanning the disciplines of engineering, humanities, science and social sciences.

SAPEA has proposed to the Scientific Advice Mechanism to report on scientific and technological evidences concerning the energy pathways in Europe, its ambitions and the reality of facts. In this context, the European Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors is asked to provide by the first quarter of 2021 a scientific opinion on a systemic approach to the energy transition in Europe. As energy transition pathways tend to differ across Member States, the main question to the European Commission’s Group of Chief Scientific Advisors is:

How can the European Commission contribute to the preparation for, acceleration, and facilitation of the energy transition in Europe given the present state of knowledge on the possible transition pathways?

SAPEA will set up an international and interdisciplinary Working Group of around 15 expert members. The Working Group will be led under the distinguished co-chairmanship of Prof. Peter Lund and Prof. Christoph Schmidt. This group of experts will provide their input via physical and/or virtual meetings (virtual meetings will be most likely organised due to the current situation) and are requested to produce a first draft of an Evidence Review Report by the end of November 2020 and the final draft by the end of January 2021. Even though the aforementioned question is broad, SAPEA’s report will focus on the evidence review of the different pathways given the general “Green Deal” policy of the European Commission.
An impartial, independent and systemic approach with insight of experts with a multidisciplinary background is needed to fully understand the interdependencies and developments in order to provide a robust information-based anticipation of future requirements for the energy transition. Nominees for the working group must be able to demonstrate applied/practical knowledge/experience related to the systemic approach for the energy transition. The areas of expertise that are sought are

  • Energy transition,
  • Energy Systems,
  • Energy Technologies,
  • Low-carbon Technologies,
  • Energy transition pathways,
  • Primary energy sources,
  • Raw materials availability,
  • Environmental boundaries,
  • Economics,
  • Socio-economics,
  • Public and social policies,
  • Services,
  • Social sciences and social behaviour,
  • Energy policy,
  • Energy economics,
  • Socio-technical transitions,
  • Circular economy,
  • Sustainability,
  • Digitalization.

The broader science areas should be viewed in the energy context, i.e. the experts should be able to apply their expertise to the systemic approach of the energy transition.

Members of the Working Group are expected to:

  • Meet (most likely virtual meetings) around three times between June and November 2020;
  • Consider the results of a structured literature review on the topic;
  • Draft the Evidence Review Report and review/advise on the editorial work undertaken by SAPEA staff, with the first draft of the Evidence Review Report delivered by end-November 2020;
  • Write up evidence-based conclusions, presented in a balanced and non-biased way, as well as
  • evidence-based options for policy;
  • Respond to the comments of the Evidence Review Report made by external experts at an Experts
  • Workshop;
  • Respond to the comments made by the peer reviewers of the Evidence Review Report;
  • Be involved in stakeholder and public engagement work (such as meetings, conferences, events), as appropriate and upon request, following delivery of the report.

A SAPEA-appointed Selection Committee will select the experts according to demonstrated excellence in one or more of the fields listed in the Call, and other criteria such as:

  • Interdisciplinarity; all relevant disciplines should be included;
  • Broad geographical coverage of Europe;
  • Inclusion of experts from non-European countries, as appropriate;
  • 30% female members as a target;
  • Inclusion of early career scientists;
  • Commitment and time-availability.

To express an interest in being nominated to this SAPEA Working group by the Royal Irish Academy, please  send a detailed curriculum vitae, together with a short explanation on how your experience meets the areas of expertise needed to by Monday 25 May 2020.

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