Funding: MTA TK
Duration: December 2017—November 2019 (23 months)
Society has boosted energy consumption and become ever more dependent on it. Meanwhile, energy consumption is a key factor in climate change. The issue motivated Lea Kőszeghy to lead the project "Societal Challenges of Energy Use", whose aim is to explore disparities in energy use and its social and environmental impacts. Carried out by a team of researchers at CSS HAS, the project innovates by combining social and technical science perspectives and methods.
Lea Kőszeghy and the research team do so by investigating the energy solutions used by both poor and rich families. The mapping will let them identify what problems arise from poor energy access. They are both related to social exclusion and environmental issues. At the same time, they test the impact of new ‘smart’ energy schemes and how energy policies respond to social inequalities.
While conducting the project, Lea will lead desk research on the topic as part of her methods. Next, she will analyze secondary data. Then, she will perform a primary qualitative data collection including field research and interviews with policymakers, company representatives, and social providers. The project also includes life cycle analysis of energy solutions used by different social groups.
As energy consumption increases and access to energy becomes increasingly more important in social life, the study of energy access and its consequences is vital. The project is timely because it can ground policy ideas that are sensitive and responsive to different energy access issues—at local and national levels. The research can foster social inclusion and energy efficiency in Hungary. In the final stage of the project, the researcher will organize an international workshop and will publish her results with an international journal. The project will serve as a stepping stone for partnership building aimed at, among others, the European Commission’s H2020 funding scheme.
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