IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

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


  • Bouke Wiersma
  • Patrick Devine-Wright


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

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    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.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:rsocxx:v:9:y:2014:i:4:p:456-470. 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: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.