The overall objective of this project is to raise public awareness of the benefits and possible drawbacks of the utilisation of various energy resources and their technological development for sustainability, and thereby bridge the gap between science and the public. The need for this project is strongly supported by the fact that although over 100 Community programmes and sub-programmes have been initiated with direct focus on energy during the past 20 years, the public’s involvement in discussions has been on a depressingly low level. “Awareness raising” by various energy lobby groups did not improve the situation either. The promoters of fossil, nuclear or various alternative energy sources have been investing vast resources into public relations, which has resulted in distorted comprehension of these issues by the public. The Information Network project will go on for three years and has a total budget of 450,000 Euro, provided by the European Union's 5th Framework Program (Phase 1).
The partners in the project are: Innoterm Energetics Ltd. (consortium leader), Hungary, Geonardo Ltd., Hungary, Slovak University of Technology Bratislava, Slovakia, Comtag Plc., Instituto de Soldadura e Qualidade, Portugal Centre for Renewable Energy Sources, Greece, The University of Sheffield, UK, European Photovoltaic Industry Association, Belgium, De Montfort University, UK
The network will therefore initiate a real dialogue between researchers, scientists and the public, to help us all understand the relationships between energy, the environment, technologies and economic growth, taking into account societal values and natural and human resources. Theirs dialogue is intended to be uniquely “provocative” but also moderated in a manner which will ensure that a diversity of opinions is accepted. An important outcome of this is that representatives of various competing energy sectors will now sit and work together to meet the above central objective. Another good feature is the application of a set of original and state-of-the-art methods and tools for awareness raising such as on-line workshops and the so-called “Arena”. All of these will successfully draw attention, initiate dialogue and eventually raise the awareness of the public.
The network’s long-term objectives are to act as a nucleus for a trans-European network to raise public and scientific interest in the utilisation of various energy resources and to start a dialogue between the non-professional public, the scientist and lawmakers.
As the central objective of the project is to raise public awareness about scientific activities and technological development in the sectors of fossil, nuclear and alternative energy, the aim of this work package is to bring representatives (R&D, Industry, Utilities, Financing bodies, Consultants) of the three energy sectors (fossil, nuclear, alternative) assessed by the project into "live" confrontation. This approach – intended to be deliberately provocative – will result in considerable public and media interests. BLUEWATERS is in charge of the complex “Renewable Energy Systems”.
Social Progress, economic growth and an increase in the standard of living must be achieved without endangering the quality of life for future generations. This development pattern is what we call Sustainable Development.