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Energy transition and behavioural change in rural areas - The role of energy cooperatives

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  • Timo Kaphengst
  • Eike Karola Velten
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    Abstract

    The overall aim of this study is to investigate energy transition processes in rural areas by paying particular attention to the role of energy cooperatives in these processes. The study should mainly uncover, if and under which conditions energy cooperatives provide favourable structures for initialising transition processes in rural areas and involving relevant stakeholders. A particular focus will be on the question of agency in energy transition processes and the internal drivers and motivations of the people to become involved in energy cooperatives. The theoretical background of the study is the transition theory and transition management (TM) concept, which we complement by drawing on Practice Theory and social learning in order to explain behavioural changes. The study mainly builds on an empirical case study in the Rhön-Grabfeld district in Northern Bavaria (Germany). Several energy cooperatives were formed there recently through the support and promotion a small rural consultancy. In addition, the results from the case study will be complemented by and compared with other case studies from Denmark and Spain taken from the literature. One of the main research question will be, to what extent energy cooperatives can be considered a good practice example for participatory involvement in transition processes and to what extent does this have an influence on the inner drivers/motivations of actors in this transition, possibly leading to behavioural changes.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by WWWforEurope in its series WWWforEurope Working Papers series with number 60.

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    Length: 81
    Date of creation: Apr 2014
    Date of revision:
    Publication status: published
    Handle: RePEc:feu:wfewop:y:2014:m:4:d:0:i:60

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    Postal: WWWforEurope Project Office Austrian Institute of Economic Research Arsenal Objekt 20 A-1030 Vienna
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    Related research

    Keywords: Academic research; Behavioural economics; Post-industrialisation; Social development; Social innovation; Socio-ecological transition; Transition research;

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    References

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    1. Verbong, Geert & Geels, Frank, 2007. "The ongoing energy transition: Lessons from a socio-technical, multi-level analysis of the Dutch electricity system (1960-2004)," Energy Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 1025-1037, February.
    2. Smith, Adrian & Stirling, Andy & Berkhout, Frans, 2005. "The governance of sustainable socio-technical transitions," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1491-1510, December.
    3. Viardot, Eric, 2013. "The role of cooperatives in overcoming the barriers to adoption of renewable energy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 756-764.
    4. Marino, Angelica & Bertoldi, Paolo & Rezessy, Silvia & Boza-Kiss, Benigna, 2011. "A snapshot of the European energy service market in 2010 and policy recommendations to foster a further market development," Energy Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 6190-6198, October.
    5. Elizabeth Shove & Gordon Walker, 2007. "CAUTION! Transitions ahead: politics, practice, and sustainable transition management," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 39(4), pages 763-770, April.
    6. Geels, Frank W., 2002. "Technological transitions as evolutionary reconfiguration processes: a multi-level perspective and a case-study," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 31(8-9), pages 1257-1274, December.
    7. Wustenhagen, Rolf & Wolsink, Maarten & Burer, Mary Jean, 2007. "Social acceptance of renewable energy innovation: An introduction to the concept," Energy Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 2683-2691, May.
    8. Schweizer-Ries, Petra, 2008. "Energy sustainable communities: Environmental psychological investigations," Energy Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 4126-4135, November.
    9. Miklós Antal & Ardjan Gazheli & Jeroen van den Bergh, 2012. "Behavioral Foundations of Sustainability Transitions," WWWforEurope Working Papers series, WWWforEurope 3, WWWforEurope.
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