Fifth Energy and Society Conference

10-12 February 2021
Versione stampabile

Due to the global outbreak of COVID-19, we’re getting in touch to let you know that Energy & Society 20211 won’t be going ahead as planned. The need for self-isolation and social distancing means that it’s no longer responsible to hold a BIG live event or gather in large groups.
But we have some good news: Energy & Society 2021 is considering going partially online and run the event in an hybrid fashion.
We will update the website soon with more information regarding the event and the possible fee discounts for online participants.
Stay safe, and we’ll be in touch with more information soon.

The conference will still take place in Trento, Italy. We believe that face-to-face meetings are best for facilitating interaction and networking, and thus we will keep the in-person format of the conference.

In order to improve chances of participation we decided to re-open the call for papers.
By re-opening the call for papers, we welcome new abstract submissions

Accepted contributors: For technical reasons we kindly ask you to re-register and re-submit your abstract. However, you will not go through the selection process again as you are already eligible. We are sorry for the inconvenience this may cause you.

We aim to bring together researchers interested in the social dimensions of energy, to exchange insightful ideas and create opportunities for collaboration. We invite contributions from across the social sciences and interdisciplinary research teams working on energy and society issues. 

Description and Themes

The theme of the conference calls into question how discourses about energy transition have been put into practice. As the “world’s hunger for energy” still appears to be increasing, the transition to clean sources of energy will need to be “revolutionary”, requiring the transformation of forms of social organization (Davidson and Gross, 2018). And yet, what is actually changing? And what impacts is the pandemic and its economic effects having on energy transition?

This theme is intended to spark debate and discussion, and with this reflexive approach and sociological lenses, we encourage the submission of abstracts on a wide variety of topics including but not limited to the following:

  • Theories, concepts and methods in social science research on energy and environmental sociology
  • Local capacities, responsibilities and strategies in energy governance 
  • Public engagement
  • Energy governance and policies
  • Transition strategies: From grid interconnection to sharing and sufficiency
  • Justice and vulnerability
  • Dynamics and patterns of energy consumption and prosumption
  • Smart meters, smart appliances, smart grids, smart places
  • Green economy, circular economy
  • Narratives, discourses, and visions of the future
  • Energy-water-food nexus
  • Energy citizenship

In thematic sessions each presenter will have around 20 minutes for presentation and discussion with peers. 

Additionally you can send in abstracts to the following workshops/special sessions that have been proposed by different authors following a pre- call for workshop proposals. Interactive workshops are encouraged, thus discussion should be based on short inputs, and actively involve participants. The full list of accepted workshops and descriptions of content and format are available on the conference website. 
Abstracts can be submitted to the following workshops/special sessions:

  • Dominated, ignored and belittled? Gender, justice and women in the energy transition (Mary Greene, Anne Schiffer)
  • Tailored participation of different target groups in inter and transdisciplinary research projects: what for, when and how to design participation processes? (Rainer Kuhn, Ricarda Schmidt-Scheele, Sarah-Kristina Wist)
  • COMETS Workshop - Collective Action as driver of Social Innovation for the Energy Transition (Osman Arrobbio, Winston Gilcrease, Dario Padovan, Alessandro Sciullo, Valeria Jana Schwanitz)
  • The Changing Landscape: Energy Power, Dependence, and the Grand Energy Transition in post-Soviet Eurasia (Morena Skalamera)
  • Implementing energy communities in European countries (Nathalie Ortar Grégoire Wallenborn)
  • When technological fix is not enough: industry, professionals and citizens in the energy transition. (Dario Minervini, Ivano Scotti)
  • Who is transforming what in electricity transitions: seeking identity and control in turbulent environments (Gerhard Fuchs)
  • The heating transition, still on the back burner? (Tineke van der Schoor, Henny van der Windt)
  • Constructing, exploring and conceptualising ‘energy democracy’ from below (Elisabet Rasch, Michiel Köhne)
  • The Role of Constructing Social Change in Achieving Sustainable Energy Justice Transition in Europe and the Mediterranean (Carmit Lubanov)
  • Renewable energy landscapes. Technical knowledge and social innovation (Bruno Zanon)
  • Special UERA Smart Cities and Energy Session (UERA Working Group on Smart Cities and Energy)

For detailed information on the Workshops, see the download section "Fifth E-S Workshops details", or click HERE

Please check with the organisers of workshops regarding the length of presentation and indicate the workshop/special session on your abstract. 

We also encourage the submission of abstracts for poster presentations. Poster presenters will be given time in a plenary session for a 3 minutes short presentation and posters will be displayed throughout the conference.

Confirmed keynote speakers are:

  • Giorgio Osti – University of Padua, Italy
  • Jason Chilvers – University of East Anglia and UK Energy Research Centre, United Kingdom
  • Júlia Seixas – New University of Lisbon, Portugal

Besides plenary sessions with keynote speakers, thematic sessions, the workshops/special sessions listed above and posters, the conference will also include the following interactive workshops:

  • Energy justice (EJ) as a multidimensional concept – the „old” and new perspectives for sociological research (Katarzyna Iwińska, Aleksandra Lis, Krzysztof Mączka, in cooperation with: Krzysztof Niedziałkowski, Marianna Strzeleck)
  • How to navigate new waters... Plan and develop your career in the field of Energy-SSH (Tadeusz Rudek, Aleksandra Wagner, Chris Foulds, Sarah Royston, Rosie Robison)
  • Increasing the understanding on the Food-Water-Energy Nexus across disciplines – does participatory modelling help? (Monika Heyder, Pia Laborgne)
  • Deep decarbonization and wide societal changes – identifying and sharing matters of concern through embodied interaction (Marius Korsnes, Giulia Sonetti)
  • Sustainable Energy Transition Lab: Integrating geographical, social and political aspects in future energy models (Diana Süsser, Johan Lilliestam, Hannes Gaschnig)

Deadlines - Rules - Fees

Important dates - attention: deadlines have been extended

  • from July 22 till October 31, 2020: Abstracts submission deadline
  • from October 31 till November 15, 2020: Selection process
  • November 16, 2020:  Authors will be informed whether or not their abstract is accepted
  • from January 7 till February 11, 2021: Payment of the registration fees

The Abstract submission is now closed

Registration - Fees - Payment

The Registration is closed; it will open soon, after the Selection process

Members of the Research Network 12 Environment and Society of the European Sociological Association (who have paid both ESA and RN12 membership due for the current year) will have reduced conference fees. 
​Social events include a welcome reception, an optional conference dinner, and optional excursions to power plants in the region. 

Online Fees

  • Member of ESA RN12 - Student and PhD (not enrolled in UniTrento) € 40,00
  • Standard fee - € 50,00
  • Enrolled at UniTrento - fees exempted

In-Person Fees

  • Member of ESA RN12 - from January 4 till February 11, 2021 - € 80,00
  • Student and PhD (not enrolled in UniTrento) - from January 4 till February 11, 2021 - € 60,00
  • Standard fee - from January 4 till February 11, 2021 - €115,00
  • Enrolled at UniTrento - fees exempted

The registration fee includes:

  • Participation to the 3-day Conference
  • Five coffee-breaks (mornings and afternoons)
  • Three buffet lunches

The registration fee does not include:

Thursday 11, 2021 - Social Dinner (optional)
The Social Dinner takes place at the Prime Rose restaurant with garden and view of the Levico Lake.
The Social Dinner is not included in the registration fee; you can reserve the dinner in the Registration form.
The fee is  60,00 per person and it includes:

  • Transportation Trento-Levico Terme and back
  • A complete dinner focused on delightful local food
  • Evening dance with a professional DJ
  • Time reserved for a pleasant short walk along the Levico Lake before dinner, if you wish to do so.

Friday 12, 2021 - Power Plants visit (optional)
On Friday 12 there is the opportunity to visit one of the two Power Plants indicated here below:

Biomass power plant with heating district serving an entire alpine valley centered on tourism and wood production. An interesting case study of a renewable energy plant embedded in a local institutional and economic network.

The most powerful hydroelectric power plant in Trentino. The plant building was designed in 1953 by architect Giovanni Muzio, the brains behind the Università Cattolica and Palazzo della Triennale buildings in Milan, as well as the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth. The spectacular turbine room of the plant, with a volume of over 150,000 m3, is dug completely out of rock at a depth of 600 metres.

If interested please choose one of the two; you can reserve your visit in the Registration form. 
The fee is  € 20,00 per person; it includes transportation and Plant entrance ticket


The fees must be paid starting January 4 till February 11, 2021.
reminder email with all the needed instructions will be sent to all registerd participants on January 3, 2021
Note: Presenters must finalize the payment not later than January 29, 2021

Scientific committee

Natalia Magnani, Giorgio Osti, Pia Laborgne, Ana Horta, Aleksandra Wagner, Alena Bleicher, Sophie Némoz, Matthias Gross, Cigdem Adem, Françoise Bartiaux, Catherine Butler, Luísa Schmidt, Michael Ornetzeder, Maria Świątkiewicz-Mośny


For further information please contact: energy-society-srs [at]