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Decentralising energy: comparing the drivers and influencers of projects led by public, private, community and third sector actors

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  • Bouke Wiersma
  • Patrick Devine-Wright

Abstract

The potential contribution of decentralised energy (DE) to the low carbon transition has received increasing policy and scholarly attention. However, a predominant emphasis upon community-led initiatives has overlooked the potential of alternative configurations, in particular projects led by public, private and professional third sector actors. To address this gap, a comparative case study analysis was undertaken based upon in-depth interviews with key actors in nine UK DE projects, scrutinising cross-sectoral patterns in underlying project drivers and factors influencing project evolution. Findings indicate that drivers are highly diverse, vary by sector and are predominantly local, with addressing poverty predominant. Key influencers identified were funding, levels of trust and stakeholder representations of energy users. The results indicate that policy and academic emphases on community-led DE overlook other successful and diverse configurations that can contribute to the low carbon transition.

Suggested Citation

  • Bouke Wiersma & Patrick Devine-Wright, 2014. "Decentralising energy: comparing the drivers and influencers of projects led by public, private, community and third sector actors," Contemporary Social Science, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(4), pages 456-470, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocxx:v:9:y:2014:i:4:p:456-470
    DOI: 10.1080/21582041.2014.981757
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    1. repec:eee:rensus:v:78:y:2017:i:c:p:710-721 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:enepol:v:107:y:2017:i:c:p:649-657 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:energy:v:150:y:2018:i:c:p:109-121 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:enepol:v:117:y:2018:i:c:p:142-150 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Klein, Sharon J.W. & Coffey, Stephanie, 2016. "Building a sustainable energy future, one community at a time," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 867-880.

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