Scientific approaches of community energy, a literature review
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In several European countries, an increasing part of the production of renewable energy is generated by citizen-owned production units. These units are installed and managed individually or by local communities, and the number of local energy initiatives, who aim to increase local energy production, is rising rapidly. This has resulted in a new research area we label as community energy. Community energy is defined as local production of renewable energy, governed by citizens, with a view to contribute to the transition to a sustainable energy system. In this study, the authors use community energy to encompass several terms that have been used so far in the literature, such as citizen’s power, grassroots energy, and local governance of energy production. They specifically address the role of the individual, acting as consumer, prosumer or citizen. The aim of the study is to identify the key issues and concepts covered in the community energy literature so far and to reflect on how it is being studied. It shows community energy is studied from a variety of perspectives, delivering insights that range from individual motivations of members to join these groups, the organisation of local community initiatives, their relations with local governments, regional support organisations and networks, to national policies that aim to stimulate decentralized community owned energy production. All approaches will have to specify and develop in order to understand and explain community energy in more detail. In addition, there is room to further reflect on the agency that is employed by local communities and how bottom-up changes in the energy structure occur. The authors argue that the study and practice of community energy could benefit from a transdisciplinary research approach, which integrates perspectives of multiple academic disciplines and non-academic stakeholders. Moreover, this could lead to policy development that is science-based and practice oriented.
van der Schoor , T & Scholtens , L J R 2019 , Scientific approaches of community energy, a literature review . CEER Policy Papers , vol. 6 , Centre for Energy Economics Research (CEER) , Groningen .
Copyright (c)2019 Van der Schoor & Scholtens
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