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CoMETS (Collective action Models for Energy Transition and Social Innovation) is a three-year EU funded Research and Innovation Action in the Horizon 2020 programme.


What is the role of collective initiatives in the energy transition in Europe?

Answering this question is one of the main objectives of a European project entitled COMETS. This project's approach is based on Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), Action Research (PAR), Co-creation of knowledge and, by integrating social sciences with comparative analysis, it promises a fertile engagement with the community of initiatives fostering energy transition in Europe through collective approaches. The project website is at

Origins and history


  • 3 EU or European-level bodies:
    • ECN - European Crowdfunding Network;
    • ECOLISE - European Network For Community-Led Initiatives On Climate Change And Sustainability;
    • JRC - Joint Research Centre;
  • 2 Research & Innovation centres:
    • TECNALIA - Fundación Tecnalia Research Innovation, ES;
    • VITO - Flemish institute for technological research, BE;
  • 6 Universities:
    • UNITO - University of Turin, IT (coordinator);
    • DTU - Technical University of Denmark, DK;
    • HVL - Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, NO;
    • RUG - University of Groningen, NL;
    • UB - Bocconi University, IT;
    • UJ - Jagiellonian University, PL;
  • 1 Energy Agency:
    • TREA - Tartu Regional Energy Agency, EE;

Aims and impacts

The COMETS project aims to quantify the European-wide aggregate contribution of Collective Action Initiatives (CAIs) to the energy transition at national and European levels by investigating their evolution and scaling up at an in-depth level in six selected countries (Spain, Italy, Belgium, Poland, The Netherland and Estonia).

The main expected impacts of the project are several. Firstly, COMETS will advance the scientific knowledge on the motives, desires, objectives and barriers of such collective action initiatives and their historical and future role in the energy transition. Building on the information gathered and tested for its robustness, the project will then co-develop and test supportive tools together with CAI members, decision makers and the scientific community. Lastly, these stakeholders will then be able to use the output of the project, namely the Communities for Future supporting platform, its enhanced knowledge base, scenarios and roadmaps for spreading CAI models, even after the project is concluded.

Links to key examples



Research on CoMETS and community-led initiatives


  • Sciullo, A. A. Wierling, O. Arrobbio, S. Delvaux, G.W. Gilcrease, J.S.Gregg, T. Henfrey & D. Padovan. 2020. Collective Action Initiatives in the Energy Transition. Supporters of a strong sustainability paradigm? In A. Diemer, E. Nedelciu, M. Schellens, M. Morales & M. Oostdijk (Eds.) Paradigms, Models, Scenarios and Practices for Strong Sustainability, Pp. 257-271. Editions Oeconomia.
  • Gregg, Jay Sterling, Sophie Nyborg, Meiken Hansen, Valeria Jana Schwanitz, August Wierling, Jan Pedro Zeiss, Sarah Delvaux, Victor Saenz, Lucia Polo-Alvarez, Chiara Candelise, Winston Gilcrease, Osman Arrobbio, Alessandro Sciullo and Dario Padovan. 2020. ‘Collective Action and Social Innovation in the Energy Sector: A Mobilization Model Perspective’. Energies 13(3):651. doi:10.3390/en13030651.

External links