The research field „Technical-Societal Development“

The transformation of the energy system with a technological base takes place on different activity levels and is an outcome “of multidimensional interactions” (Geels 2004) within the society. These different scales set the goal and scope of the research field “Technical-Societal Development”.

The four projects will serve the different activity levels:

The overarching aim of this research field is to analyze the contribution of technology infrastructures to transforming the German energy system, within different scenarios, and the impact they have on development in selected regions, taking into account Germany’s integration into the European and global economically and political system. Within the parameters of the research field, society is not merely seen as an exogenous goal setter but as an integrated part of the transformation process, and thus of the research, making use of the findings of the other research fields and horizontal task.

The most important goals of the research field are:Photo: Dörte Ohlhorst

  • to identify socio-technological potentials of selected key technology-infrastructure,
  • to model the various transforming relations (interfaces) between technical and nontechnical system elements,
  • to develop a scenario approach which connects economic and technologically feasible scenarios with society’s development, expectations and misgivings,
  • to adapt the findings of the other projects within the research field to a regional setting with the aim of identifying strategic structural similarities and diversities,
  • to study the interface between the German energy policies and the European strategies (including the European reaction to the German Sonderweg).
  • to exchange with researchers in other research fields on likely pathways and trends for technology-society relations.