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Determinants of courses of action in bioenergy villages responding to changes in renewable heat utilization policy

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  • Grundmann, Philipp
  • Ehlers, Melf-Hinrich

Abstract

The Energiewende in Germany includes organizational innovations for the provision of renewable energy to rural communities, often referred to as “bioenergy villages”. These villages have dealt with frequent regulatory and economic changes, but little is known about what determines their response to such changes. We investigate courses of action in five villages in the federal state of Brandenburg (Germany) in response to changes in the regulatory framework promoting better utilization of surplus heat from biogas facilities. Our comparative case study method draws on interviews with village stakeholders and complementary material to scrutinize action situations and focal transactions in bioenergy value chains. A framework combining institutional economics and value-chain approaches guides our analysis. The findings suggest that linkages between action situations in bioenergy villages can facilitate accommodation of conflicting expectations of village actors in their responses to future changes, as they create opportunities and enhance capabilities to balance interests of actors and promote cooperation and coordination across value chains. Village and higher-level policy aiming to future-proof villages’ facilities against challenges of the Energiewende could capitalize on linkages of action situations across bioenergy value chains.

Suggested Citation

  • Grundmann, Philipp & Ehlers, Melf-Hinrich, 2016. "Determinants of courses of action in bioenergy villages responding to changes in renewable heat utilization policy," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 183-192.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juipol:v:41:y:2016:i:c:p:183-192
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jup.2016.02.012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:eee:appene:v:221:y:2018:i:c:p:308-318 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Heat grids; Bioenergy; Governance;

    JEL classification:

    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources

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