Establishing a Green Energy Transition Process in COVID Times
Felipe Barroco Fontes Cunha, Francesca Cappellaro, Claudia Carani, Gianluca D’Agosta, Piero De Sabbata, Danila Longo et al.
Capitolo di libro
This chapter describes the new normal approach adopted for a citizen engagement process carried out in the framework of a three-year EU demonstration project, aimed at establishing a green energy community (GECO project) in Italy. The engagement method was based on the Transition Management approach, steering participatory processes aiming at the activation of a sustainable behavioural change. During the COVID-19 crisis, engagement activities required a deep and radical change. The research investigated how to guarantee a participatory dimension and build an energy community during COVID times. In order to both realign actions to comply with the COVID-19 restrictions and preserve the participatory dimension of engagement processes, a systemic and regenerative co-design was implemented. Some activities (i.e. informative campaigns and stakeholders’ meetings) were redesigned and put online. Education and public events were moved from indoor to outdoor environments. This allowed regenerative experiences enhancing the connection between the local community and nature. In summary, COVID times imposed limitations but offered new opportunities to co-design more sustainable living solutions, such as energy communities. The collaborations born in COVID-19 restrictions are still ongoing offering innovative ways of meeting and acting together.