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Posted on November 19, 2015

Workshop Ethics and Governance of Energy Technologies

Ethics and Governance of Energy Technologies:
The role of consumers, citizens and policy-makers in future sustainable energy systems


3TU.Ethics – Taksforce Energy and Sustainability  & ECIS (Eindhoven School of Innovation Sciences)

Organization Committee:  Andreas Spahn (Tu/e), Auke Pols (Tu/e), Johanna Höffken (Tu/e); Philip Brey (Twente), Behnam Taebi (Delft)


Where and When:

Eindhoven University of Technology, January 15/16. 2015


Keynote speakers:

  • Celine Kermisch (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium)
  • Thomas Pfister (Zeppelin University, Friedrichshafen, Germany)
  • M.V. Ramana (Princeton University, Princeton, US)
  • Martijntje Smits (Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands)
  • Anders Melin (Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden)



The world’s energy provision and consumption are perhaps among the greatest challenges our generation is facing. Our modern economies are currently running on fossil fuel resources, which are both problematic from the resource durability point of view and for the irreversible impact the greenhouse gas emissions have on the climate. We need to rapidly move towards more sustainable energy production and consumption. In order to achieve a sustainable lifestyle, interdisciplinary decisions with regard to energy provision and energy-consumption need to be made. This workshop focuses on the societal, ethical and political issues of such solutions and aims at bringing together researchers from philosophy, engineering sciences, and social sciences.

New energy technologies and the policies that should accommodate them raise a wealth of ethical and societal issues. Amongst other things, there are questions relating to a fair and effective governance of energy transition, just distribution of burden and benefits, public concerns and acceptance of various energy technologies, the risks and uncertainties associated with different technical options, the appropriate criteria for assessing various technologies and policies and the questions of individual versus collective responsibilities.

The international workshop will bring together scholars in ethics, energy and sustainability science, philosophy, environmental science and any other engineering field that is of relevance for tackling the major societal energy related challenges. The focus on the workshop will be on the role of ethical aspect of energy technologies and the transition towards sustainable energy production and consumption. Which energy technologies are sustainable and how can we steer the future production and consumption of energy towards sustainability?

The topics of the presentations will include:

(1) Responsible Development of Energy technologies

  • Nuclear energy, safety, sustainability and intergenerational justice
  • Biofuels: ethical aspects, social dilemmas and trust in innovation
  • Prospects of renewable energy technology
  • Energy technologies and the good life
  • Responsible innovation in energy technologies
  • (Alleviating) energy poverty and global justice
  • Energy Cultures: the role of institutions, users, citizens and stakeholders
  • Taking sustainability, user well-being and lifestyle into account in design

(2) Responsible Governance of Energy production

  • involvement of citizens and citizen groups in sustainable technology and energy
  • the role of ethics in the development of sustainable technology and energy
  • The role of stakeholders and their involvement
  • The role of financial institutions in the energy transition and fossil fuel divestments.
  • Social Responsible Innovation of Energy Technologies

(3)  Responsible Energy consumption

  • Sustainable (energy and technology) consumption and how to attain it
  • Steering energy-consumption: liberal principles, persuasive technologies, nudges and autonomy
  • Promoting values and lifestyles for sustainability
  • How to balance or achieve intra- en intergenerational justice in energy ethics?
  • The role of individual and collective responsibility in climate change

Program & Map

Please click here for the program and here for a map.


Attendance is free, but registration is mandatory. You can register by sending an email to the organisation at . Please register no later than Monday 14 December. 3TU.Ethics can reimburse the costs for an overnight stay in Eindhoven for its members: if you wish to make use of this option, please let the organisation know and we will book a hotel for you. Please also let us know if you have any dietary requirements (vegetarian, allergies, etc.)

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