Social Sciences and Humanities

Name of the HWG: Social Sciences and Humanities

The European Technology Platform on Renewable Heating and Cooling (RHC-ETIP) is launching a new horizontal working group (HWG) titled Social Sciences and Humanities Working Group (SSH-HWG). SSH-HWG will provide input on social aspects of the RHC-ETIP’s activities, recommendations and strategies.

Objectives / goals

The new horizontal working group aims to bring together the various SSH disciplines and stakeholders in order to find a common working ground for the cross-cutting issues in the renewable heating and cooling (RHC) sector. The HWG seeks to address the challenges of holistic societal acceptance and the use of renewable energy sources for heating and cooling across all social groups, consumers, and other stakeholders. The new HWG will be of great importance in promoting a competitive advantage of RHC technologies from a societal perspective and formulating recommendations for EU policymakers on sustainable energy supply.

Working group members have the opportunity to give direct feedback to the European Commission and other key stakeholders on:

  • proposing research and innovation topics
  • highlighting the importance of market uptake projects for the renewable heating and cooling sector, and
  • providing input on SHH aspects of policies covering the renewable heating and cooling sectors.

Some of the preliminary cross-cutting topics that could be discussed and worked on within the working group are given below as an example. However, the working group will decide on its terms of reference and the focus topics.

Preliminary topics of interest for the horizontal working group

  • Consumer acceptance of renewable heating and cooling technologies
  • Energy poverty in the heating and cooling sectors
  • Prices and costs for renewable heating and cooling systems and its impact on social issues
  • Renewable energies for heating and cooling: The importance of meeting consumers‘ needs (e.g. operation comfort and low maintenance efforts)
  • How to support district heating and cooling for consumers
  • Energy communities – how to engage citizens in the heat energy transition
  • The need of cooling in cities from the social and health viewpoint
  • The impact of renewable energy heating and cooling technologies on creating regional value and keeping the money in the regions
  • Other topics: to be defined by the SSH-HWG

Timeline / Milestones

  • February 2023: Call for interest for joining the SSH-HWG (open to ETIP RHC members and any other interested experts)
  • March 2023: First meeting of SSH-HWG members; details of the election process of the chair and vice-chair of the SSH-HWG to be elected
  • April: Election of the chair and vice-chair of the SSH-HWG

It is foreseen that SSH-HWG will meet virtually 3-4 times per year.

For more information, you can send an email to the coordinator of the SSH-HWG or directly become a member here.