SOITec - Socio-economic indicators for technology assessment

Striving for a carbon-neutral economy in 2050 in the EU to combat climate change is the overarching objective of the EU Energy Union. At the same time, the EU also aims at ensuring an affordable, secure, efficient and competitive energy supply within the EU (EU Energy Union).


Technology assessments (TA) were established to identify in an early phase of the technology deployment potential negative effects of new technologies on the environment. In analyses on the prospective TA of the energy transition, researchers conclude among others that potential contributions of technologies on sustainability require an analysis in the context of its functionality, and technology and society need to co-evolve to better promote socially desirable processes. In this respect, TA of new energy technologies are supposed to account for the overall economic efficiency and well-being, fairness and social compatibility of technologies used to achieve the objectives of the Energy Union. 

We (Fraunhofer ISI) focus in this study on non-monetary effects from using technologies driving the energy transition (EET) while other partners look into other key components of the TA. Further, we examine the potential of technologies for motivating citizens to participate in the energy transition. Therefore, this study investigates what kind of non-monetary effects occur, and how they can be included into a TA. Generally, this includes non-monetary costs and benefits of ETT, with a focus on non-monetary costs. Further, it looks at the potential of technologies offering citizens to participate. Ultimately, we aim to elaborate indicators that could capture and include these criteria in TAs.



The project is structured into three work packages:

WP1: methodological approaches when conducting technology assessments (literature review) and stakeholder consultations (workshops) to include practical experiences and preferences or importance of different socio-economic, environmental and societal objectives.

WP2: elaboration of methods and working steps to derive indicators for macro-economic and socio-economic indicators, reflecting impacts on competitiveness and growth as well as on needs and preferences, respectively. Regarding socio-economic indicators, literature research, stakeholder workshops and online survey are conducted.

WP3: identification of technology systems and application of elaborated methodological approaches for these selected technology systems.


In progress


  • Deutsches Zentrum für Luft - und Raumfahrt - DLR (coordinator): focus on macro-economic indicators
  • Institut für qualifizierende Innovationsforschung & -beratung - IQIB: stakeholder workshops and identification of technology systems
  • Fraunhofer ISI: focus on socio-economic indicators, preferences for financial participation and non-monetary costs of technology application