A thousand flowers blooming? An examination of community energy in the UK
Community energy has been proposed as a new policy tool to help achieve the transition to a low-carbon energy system, but the evidence base for this strategy is partial and fragmented. We therefore present new empirical evidence from the first independent UK-wide survey of community energy projects. Our survey investigates the objectives, origins and development of these groups across the UK, their activities and their networking activities as a sector. We also examine the strengths and weaknesses of these groups, along with the opportunities and threats presented by wider socioeconomic and political contexts, in order to improve understanding of the sector's potential and the challenges it faces. We highlight several key issues concerning the further development of the sector. First, this highly diverse sector is not reducible to a single entity; its multiple objectives need joined-up thinking among government departments. Second, its civil society basis is fundamental to its success at engaging local communities, and makes the sector quite distinct from the large energy companies these community groups are aiming to work alongside. There are inherent tensions and vulnerabilities in such a model, and limits to how much these groups can achieve on their own: consistent policy support is essential.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Yin, Yao, 2012. "A socio-political analysis of policies and incentives applicable to community wind in Oregon," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 442-449.
- Darby, Sarah, 2006. "Social learning and public policy: Lessons from an energy-conscious village," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(17), pages 2929-2940, November.
- St. Denis, Genevieve & Parker, Paul, 2009. "Community energy planning in Canada: The role of renewable energy," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 13(8), pages 2088-2095, October.
- Maruyama, Yasushi & Nishikido, Makoto & Iida, Tetsunari, 2007. "The rise of community wind power in Japan: Enhanced acceptance through social innovation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 2761-2769, May.
- Rogers, Jennifer C. & Simmons, Eunice A. & Convery, Ian & Weatherall, Andrew, 2012. "Social impacts of community renewable energy projects: findings from a woodfuel case study," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 239-247.
- Middlemiss, Lucie & Parrish, Bradley D., 2010. "Building capacity for low-carbon communities: The role of grassroots initiatives," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(12), pages 7559-7566, December.
- Mulugetta, Yacob & Jackson, Tim & van der Horst, Dan, 2010. "Carbon reduction at community scale," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(12), pages 7541-7545, December.
- Walker, Gordon, 2008. "What are the barriers and incentives for community-owned means of energy production and use?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 4401-4405, December.
- Müller, Matthias Otto & Stämpfli, Adrian & Dold, Ursula & Hammer, Thomas, 2011. "Energy autarky: A conceptual framework for sustainable regional development," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 5800-5810, October.
- Gordon Walker & Sue Hunter & Patrick Devine-Wright & Bob Evans & Helen Fay, 2007. "Harnessing Community Energies: Explaining and Evaluating Community-Based Localism in Renewable Energy Policy in the UK," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 7(2), pages 64-82, May.
- Hoffman, Steven M. & High-Pippert, Angela, 2010. "From private lives to collective action: Recruitment and participation incentives for a community energy program," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(12), pages 7567-7574, December.
- Shaw, Suzanne & Mazzucchelli, Paola, 2010. "Evaluating the perspectives for hydrogen energy uptake in communities: Success criteria and their application," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 5359-5371, October.
- Heiskanen, Eva & Johnson, Mikael & Robinson, Simon & Vadovics, Edina & Saastamoinen, Mika, 2010. "Low-carbon communities as a context for individual behavioural change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(12), pages 7586-7595, December.
- Walker, Gordon & Devine-Wright, Patrick, 2008. "Community renewable energy: What should it mean," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 497-500, February.
- Howell, Rachel A., 2012. "Living with a carbon allowance: The experiences of Carbon Rationing Action Groups and implications for policy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 250-258.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:61:y:2013:i:c:p:977-989. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.