Project launch

The change from fossil fuels to renewable energy brings new products and a new infrastructure. What are the risks? How can we evaluate the wave of innovations?

By 2050, Austria plans to complete the decarbonisation of our energy system. A new project funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) asks how we can comparatively record the associated "wave" of technical innovation and assess its consequences and potential risks.

The energy transition affects more than just the electrical grid. It causes new products to come onto the market and new photovoltaic, wind and hydroelectric power plants to be built. For such a far-reaching turnaround to succeed, all involved, from producers to consumers, need to be aware of the various aspects of this development.

"One of our goals is to create awareness of the fact that we are all in the midst of change," emphasises project leader Michael Ornetzeder, energy expert at the Institute of Technology Assessment (ITA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. "New technologies are not only expected to function smoothly. Consumers are also required to be able to handle these new technologies, such as electric cars or photovoltaics."

The aim of the project is to create a system through which energy innovations can be analysed for their intended and unintended effects. Read more