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Renewable energy research and technologies through responsible research and innovation looking glass: Reflexions, theoretical approaches and contemporary discourses

Ruth Carbajo and Luisa F. Cabeza

Applied Energy, 2018, vol. 211, issue C, 792-808

Abstract: The increasing challenges that energy research faces as a priority in most of the global research agendas, are revealed both in terms of social and technical issues. Energy research highlights are set on the development of reliable renewable energy systems and applications; transition to decentralized systems and socio-technical, behavioural and institutional issues combination which requires the integration of both energy and research policies. Global trends in research policies showing an advocacy for responsible approaches are for example Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) and Open Innovation European strategies which promote the development of social issues as core key of the research and innovation and the definition of the outcomes as the expression of human values such as safety, justice, sustainability and efficiency. The purpose of this article is to present a reflexion regarding to a contextualization of this approach in energy research. Therefore, a range of theoretical backgrounds, meaning making processes, historical approaches, frameworks and contemporary discourses, have been examined. Our aim is to provide a detailed review of existing literature related to the key elements of Responsible Research and Innovation. The innovative contribution is focused in the vision of these key elements applied to energy research, with particular reference to renewables and the outline of the many factors influencing the real field implementation. Results show the existence of a common ground between responsible approaches and many concepts from energy research and social sciences frames. Responsibility as understood in the RRI framework was found not deliberately represented, although, shifts towards responsible approach in social dimension treatment of renewable energy research appeared notable.

Keywords: Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI); Energy research; Energy research and social science; Renewable energy; Responsibility (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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