Access to and use of energy play a vital role in the environmental and development challenges we face today. Energy is one of the most important aspects of everyday life across geography; we need energy for cooking, heating, production and transport, to name a few. What type of energy technology consumed also has implications for climate change. Today most of the world’s energy use comes from fossil fuels that cause detrimental effects to human health and the environment through pollution, and the more developed we become, the more energy we use.
CICERO aim to provide important knowledge concerning how people, communities and institutions can move towards more sustainable energy consumption and clean energy production based on social justice. Our research on energy is guided by interdisciplinary approaches and co-operation with Norwegian and international research partners and stakeholders in co-creation of knowledge.
Social and cultural factors driving individual energy choices and behaviours
Why do some people choose to invest in PV solar systems to produce their own electricity? Why do some people consistently try to reduce their electricity consumption, while others do not? How do habits and values shape our energy consumption? The number of ‘prosumers’ who produce their own electricity from solar PV systems has had a sharp increase in Norway the latest years, but is still low compared to Sweden or Denmark. In general, people also perceive electricity as a needed everyday resource that becomes visible only when the power is cut. CICERO has engaged with research on people’s motivations, values and experience to reduce their energy consumption and implement new energy technologies. This is valuable input to produce relevant knowledge for other researchers, policy-makers and the energy sector in moving towards a green shift of new and cleaner energy technologies, as well as reduction of energy consumption in households.
Energy and development in the global South
How can access to, and increased use of modern energy ensure development for families and communities and still be environmentally sustainable? How can renewable energy technology be implemented in a way that ensures energy equity? There has been an increasing focus on people’s access to modern energy as a premise for development, Despite an alarming increase of energy consumption in the world, energy poverty persists. According to IEA, about 1.1 billion people lack electricity and 2.8 billion use traditional fuels for cooking. The number of people lacking modern energy is concentrated in the global South. Inadequate access to modern energy has great consequences for health, education and income-generating activities. CICERO’s research explore how energy frames people’s lives related to livelihood, gender relations and consumption. The objective is to provide knowledge on how we can build policies and solutions that ensure environmentally sustainable and socially just energy access for all.