Research program Human, Energy Systems and Society (MESAM)

Energy systems consists of a combination of humans, technology, and infrastructure together with institutions such as policies, laws and societal values that all are linked together and influence each other. Knowledge, with a diversity of scientific and societal perspectives and questions, will contribute to improve societal understandings of complex interactions in the energy systems and conflicting interests.

Energy and energy systems are in constant change, a change which is created by people. Actors, i.e. humans and groups of people, make choices and take decisions and perform actions all the time, for example through decisions in everyday life, in political decisions, the contractor's choice of business strategies as well as for states' and regions' decisions in energy and climate issues.

The research program Human, Energy Systems and Society (MESAM) is one of the Swedish Energy Agency´s initiatives in social sciences, humanities and interdisciplinary research. There is a total of SEK 160 million in allocated funds for the program, funds that will finance research during 2018–2022. The program is directed to knowledge and expertise where knowledge and skills about the complex relationships and contradictions in the handling of energy and climate issues are the focus.

A diversity of scientific and societal perspectives

The program complements the Energy Agency's often technology and solution-oriented initiatives. MESAM addresses questions about the energy issues' relations with people and institutions such as politics, laws, regulations and markets. Although these parts can counteract each other, they must interact and act in the same direction to create sustainable energy systems. MESAM takes a wide perspective and includes, for example, issues of gender equality and justice that are important aspects of sustainable energy systems. The program also emphasises collaboration and communication of the research carried out.

The program encourages research with a diversity of scientific and societal perspectives on energy and climate issues. MESAM aims to provide new knowledge, give new insights and open up for new alternatives to transform the energy systems to better meet the energy and climate targets including the resource constraints society faces. This will also provide a better decision‑making basis for those involved in the making of energy related issues and decisions affecting different energy systems, regardless of whether they are politicians, companies, organisations or households.