Jessica Balest

Jessica Balest
Eurac Research · Institute for Renewable Energy

PhD

About

38
Publications
8,750
Reads
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315
Citations
Citations since 2017
25 Research Items
300 Citations
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Introduction
I am currently working at the Institute for Renewable Energy, EURAC Research in the Urban and Regional Energy System research group. My background is on environmental sociology and I am PhD at the Land, Environment, Resources and Health school at the University of Padua. My idea is that the real world is complex and local communities have a central role in energy transition. In other words, my topic could be shorten in Energy transition in local communities: a spatial sociotechnical approach.
Additional affiliations
February 2015 - November 2015
Eurac Research
Position
  • Researcher

Publications

Publications (38)
Technical Report
As the acronym already indicates, JUSTNature introduces the normative notion of justice. An initial analysis of the scope of nature-based solutions and the role of justice suggests that issues of social and environmental justice are only considered peripherally, and that so far no dedicated research community has addressed the topic. It has been re...
Article
Full-text available
In Italy, an increasing number of historical buildings have been abandoned in the last decades. As a response, some local administrations decided to foster renovation projects to preserve their heritage for future generations. Among them, the northern municipality of Val di Zoldo (Veneto) relies on the European Shelter Project, which covers a part...
Article
Full-text available
Energy transition deals with and starts from data and information, which are relevant for decision making and strategy implementation. Several stakeholders who deal with planning, energy management, and policy-making processes need findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR) data to solve professional issues. The Horizon 2020 (H2020) E...
Research
Full-text available
Smart and Sustainable Planning for Cities and Regions Conference - July 2022 - Bolzano (IT) Call for abstracts
Article
Full-text available
During the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, cities became large residential consumers of energy. In general, energy demand has decreased, but the users who used the most energy during the pandemic were the people in their homes creating a change compared to the past. How have household habits changed affecting energy uses during the lockdown? Ha...
Article
Full-text available
Electric vehicles (EVs) are low-carbon innovations that decrease emissions in transportation. Understanding what drives individual propensity to choose EVs supports policymakers in shaping effective low-carbon mobility policies. Within the MOBSTER Interreg project, data were collected using a survey administered to residents in three Alpine cross-b...
Book
Full-text available
Questa ricerca si concentra sul modo in cui le persone hanno utilizzato l’energia nella propria abitazione durante le restrizioni introdotte dal decreto del Consiglio dei ministri #IoRestoaCasa, pubblicato il 9 marzo 2020 in Italia. Sulla base di un questionario online ad accesso libero, la ricerca si focalizza sui cambiamenti negli usi e nella ges...
Article
Alcuni contesti socio-culturali promuovono pratiche sociali di risparmio energetico e assicurano la riduzione dei consumi in edifici efficienti dal punto di vista energetico. Questo articolo sintetizza i risultati derivanti da una ricerca applicata ad un edificio di nuova costruzione di 23 appartamenti (Bolzano - IT). I risultati delle interviste f...
Article
Full-text available
Currently, energy data is often difficult to find. It is mixed in different repositories, as well as being fragmented, which can slow energy-related project progress, increase the costs, and create an overall lack of efficiency in the field of energy.
Article
Full-text available
The current energy system is dealing with an increasing share of renewable energy that, because of its intermittent availability, can affect the effectiveness of the energy supply. To cope with the problem, buildings need to become energy flexible. According to the definition given by IEA EBC Annex 67, energy flexibility is the ability of a buildin...
Article
Full-text available
With the aim of proposing recommendations on how to use social and territorial specificities as levers for wider achievement of climate and energy targets at local level, this research analyses territories as sociotechnical systems. Defining the territory as a sociotechnical system allows us to underline the interrelations between space, energy and...
Article
Full-text available
At the national scale, almost all of the European countries have already achieved energy transition targets, while at the regional and local scales, there is still some potential to further push sustainable energy transitions. Regions and localities have the support of political, social, and economic actors who make decisions for meeting existing s...
Chapter
Urban energy-district projects introduce outstanding technological innovation in buildings and energy systems increasing sustainability in city neighborhoods. Such projects generate additional co-benefits for the city beyond changes in physical elements and development of social and institutional relationships (e.g. local employment, environmental...
Data
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Article
Full-text available
Our study proposes to analyze from a social practice and behavioural economics perspective the factors that influence a mismatch between energy behaviour and retrofit efficacy in the context of social housing. Retrofit interventions not only have the potential of improving energy efficiency of buildings, but they also change the context in which in...
Chapter
Optimized energy systems are achieved by an increase in energy efficiency in parallel with energy savings. SINFONIA is an FP7 European-funded project that aims to implement smart initiatives for optimized energy systems through deep-energy retrofit of social housing buildings in middle-size European cities (i.e., Bolzano, Italy). From a technical v...
Article
Full-text available
In the last decade, European attractive policies are favoring the construction of new run-off hydro-power plants. The realization cost of these plants is quite low in mountain areas thanks to small water discharges and high gross heads. For this reason, small rivers have been strongly exploited without considering an optimal use of the resource. No...
Article
Local population actions determine the level of renewability of local energy systems in the context of energy transition goals. Local population makes energy choices based on the availability of different territorial resources and limits, i.e. natural or environmental, technological, and social ones. The aim of this research is to identify the main...
Chapter
Full-text available
The ecosystem services (ESs) concept is particularly helpful when dealing with the relationship that links human and natural environment systems. It refers, in fact, to the entire sphere of benefits (goods and services) that human societies obtain, directly or indirectly, from ecosystems functions, and shows how deeply human well-being depends on h...
Article
Full-text available
The concept of “co-benefit” is commonly adopted to define any additional positive impact of a policy, program, or project, arising alongside the desired primary goal. Co-benefits relate to human health and well-being, as well as environmental, economic, and social aspects. The concept, investigated beginning in the 1990s, is recognized today, as su...
Poster
Full-text available
Socio-energy system is the result of technologies, resources, innovations, humans, and choices. Low carbon energy system goal pass throughout society and humans. Poster describe literature review made on main social factors influencing society and people choices towards low carbon energy system.
Article
National Forest Programme (NFP) is a comprehensive social and political framework to achieve an effective sustainable forest management developing a spirit of cooperation among national and sub-national social actors. In this study, the participatory process adopted in the formulation of the second NFP in Czech Republic (NFPII) was analysed conside...
Article
The present study offers a contingent valuation application to explore residents´ willingness to pay for renewable energy, in a case study in the Italian Alps. Data originated from onsite personal interviews and were analyzed with a Tobit model. Results show that respondents are willing to pay, on average, 5.1€ per month for a 100% of renewable ene...
Article
Full-text available
In European countries, current forest use aims to enhance goods and services supplied by forest ecosystems, taking into account the multiple needs and interests of society through a participatory process. A successful participatory process requires a thorough analysis of stakeholders’ perceptions and preferences. The aim of this paper is to investi...
Article
National Forest Programmes represent a wide range of approaches to the process of planning, programming and implementing forest activities in a country. National Forest Programmes are regulated by international rules that highlight the importance of public participation aimed at developing cooperation among stakeholders and at improving the sustain...
Article
Full-text available
Renewable energies - such as solar photovoltaic power, hydropower, wind power and forest biomass - have a key role in the European Union (EU) policy aimed at enhancing energy security and mitigating climate change. The new target established by European Commission for 2030 is a 30% improvement in energy efficiency, 40% less greenhouses gas (GHG) em...
Article
Full-text available
The present study offers a contingent valuation application to explore residents´ willingness to pay for renewable energy, in a case study in the Italian Alps. Data originated from onsite personal interviews and were analyzed with a Tobit model. Results show that respondents are willing to pay, on average, 5.1€ per month for a 100% of renewable ene...
Book
Full-text available
The Alps, with their long cultural history and unique geographic and geological particularities, are a biodiversity hotspot. This extraordinary biodiversity,and the ecosystem services resulting from it, is being threatened by various anthropogenic pressures, including climate change. Climate change mitigation measures such as the increased use of r...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Alps have a significant potential for the use of renewable energy (RE) and can make a valuable contribution to mitigating climate change. However, exploiting this potential may increase the pressures on nature if the potential environmental impacts and spatial requirements of the different RE technologies are not considered. Therefore, it is cr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In energy planning, there is an increasing request to produce future scenarios to guide decision making. Park managers in alpine areas must deal with the growing demand of forest biomass to produce bioenergy. It is difficult to quantify the real biomass availability respecting technical economical and environmental constraints. During the project r...
Article
Full-text available
Values are qualities and beliefs orientating human actions and they change according to socio-economic variables such as gender, culture, education and income. Incorporating stakeholders’ values and attitudes in the forest planning is essential for reducing conflicts among forest users and ensuring successful formulation and implementation of the p...

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Projects

Projects (9)
Project
The detailed knowledge of building stock features and performances has a potential positive disruptive effect on the ability of the EC to design effective policies targeting buildings in view of the 2050 strategy and the European Green Deal. Given the lack of comprehensive and reliable data on the EU building stock, BuiltHub will develop a structured and inclusive data collection approach, as well as an easy to access & use datahub, in the shape of a structured web-based platform (IT infrastructure, analytics and user-friendly dashboard), which will be fed into thanks to a benefits-based engagement strategy targeted to data and metadata providers, as well as simple users. The mentioned benefits-based engagement strategy will be implemented by developing added value information services tailored to lead-users of the platform and other main beneficiaries (end-users). The main premise behind the BuiltHub community building proposal is that data owners will be willing to feed-in data/information to the BuiltHub platform, in exchange for the added value information/knowledge that will be put out by the platform through its operation. In addition, “multipliers” will disseminate the BuiltHub achievements for enlarging the related community. The BuiltHub consortium will also develop different data processes and service schemes to cover possible users, based on their needs and potential use of data & analytics, as well as the benefits they could enjoy from cooperating with BuiltHub. The project aims to build upon the building stock observatory database and related analytics for making the data flow easier, resilient and safe. However, the BuiltHub consortium is also ready for a development approach which stands on its own, as a back-up plan. It also aims to work in close collaboration with mirror and sister projects and in particular B4E-6 MATRYCS by sharing data collection approach and a standard definition of each elements at different level (country to single building). For further information, please see: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/957026
Project
Questo progetto ha l’obiettivo di fotografare la situazione attuale di vita nelle abitazioni e analizzare i cambiamenti sociali, culturali e negli usi dell’energia in corso, dati dalle restrizioni legate al Covid-19, comparando contesti urbani e rurali. Questa ricerca promuove nuova conoscenza sulle pratiche e gli usi dell’energia e sull’accesso all’energia.
Project
Data is central for energy research and analysis. Unfortunately, energy data is often difficult to find, mixed in different repositories, and generally fragmented. This results in a lack of efficiency for research and energy transition management. EnerMaps aims to improve data availability, data quality, and data management for industry (in particular renewable technology industry), energy planners, energy utilities, energy managers, energy consultants, public administration officers specialised in the energy sector and policy decision makers as well as social innovation experts and data providers, applying FAIR principles. To this end, we focus on three axes: a) The creation of two tools working in conjunction: a scientific community dashboard providing a critical mass of energy datasets in one common tool, and a data management tool providing a quality-check selection of crucial data with an integrated visualization and calculation modules. Both tools will be freely accessible to all users. b) Scientific communication: we increase current capacities of publicly-financed R&I projects to communicate their newly created datasets through enrichment and promotion activities. The aim is to increase the probability of seeing these datasets reused. c) Capacity building on data management: an extensive set of formation is organized for lead-user representatives. The use of action-learning techniques and the application of a “train the trainer” approach ensures the efficiency of the training programs. The project collaborates actively with European-wide data management initiatives such as the European Open Science Cloud Initiative and integrates actively its future users into the development of the different tools to insure their usefulness.