Synthesis Report of the Reflection Group on the use of storylines in energy foresight research

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    Abstract

    The Storylines Reflection Group is a research project funded by the EUROfusion Socio-economic Studies programme. European research on fusion energy has a long tradition of energy scenario modelling as a way to study the economic and social conditions under which fusion would eventually become an energy technology option in the future. Previous research under the Socio-economic Studies programme has pointed at the ‘danger’ of bias in internally organised foresight research driven by a specific interest (in this case: ‘realising fusion electricity by 2050’) and has emphasised for EUROfusion the importance of fostering a self-critical reflexive attitude in its research in this respect. It was also stressed that the organisation of participatory socio-economic research with the inclusion of stakeholders from informed civil society would be the principle way to develop and maintain this attitude. Based on these arguments, we proposed the Storylines Reflection Group as a research project to the EUROfusion consortium. The aim was to bring together fusion modelling researchers with selected civil society representatives and researchers in future studies (in the broadest sense). In short, the Storylines Reflection Group aimed (1) to reflect on the meaning and possible use of storylines in the context of future studies in general and of energy foresight in particular, taking into account the considerations formulated in the background document (“Storyline formulation and scenario construction as a reflexive research practice”); (2) to produce a synthesis report on the use of storylines in the context of energy foresight. The Storylines Reflection Group was held on Tuesday 26 January 2016 at the SCK•CEN offices in Brussels. The synthesis report that follows hereafter was prepared by the reflection group organisers based on the presentations done and discussions held among the invited experts, and was presented to the participants for review and comments. The report is considered to be a publicly available document.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherEUROfusion
    Number of pages46
    StatePublished - 9 Jun 2016

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