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Exploring the transition potential of renewable energy communities

Doci, G; Vasileiadou, E; Petersen, AC; (2015) Exploring the transition potential of renewable energy communities. FUTURES , 66 pp. 85-95. 10.1016/j.futures.2015.01.002. Green open access

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Abstract

Renewable energy communities are grassroots initiatives that invest in ‘clean energy’ in order to meet consumption needs and environmental goals and thereby – often unwittingly – conduce to the spread of renewables. Our aim in the present study is to explore the potential of renewable energy communities in the Netherlands, as social niches, to contribute to transitions in the energy system. To do so, we propose three proxies for measuring the transition potential of social niches, based on proxies for technological innovations derived from the literature. In addition, we reinterpret the notion of niches and the way transition occurs by arguing that niches are complex systems in which both technological and social innovations develop simultaneously and that during a transition entire niches link up with the regime. Furthermore, we make a distinction between internally and externally oriented niches based on their orientation and application focus. We use a comparative case study analysis complemented by a systematic literature and documentary review to show that these communities are already changing the Dutch energy system, by connecting to regime actors. Their further advancement depends on strengthening their links to established actors, but also on providing a favorable regulatory framework.

Type: Article
Title: Exploring the transition potential of renewable energy communities
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.futures.2015.01.002
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2015.01.002
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Keywords: Multi Level Perspective, Social niche, Social innovation, Renewable energy communities
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > STEaPP
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1461374
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