The Transformative Power of Community Energy: between theory and practice

Onderzoeksoutput: AbstractAcademic


The community renewable energy is often seen as the way to address the societal challenge of energy transition. Many scholars foresee a key role for community energy in accelerating of the energy transition from fossil to renewable energy sources. For example, some authors investigated the transformative role of community renewable energy in the energy transition process (Seyfang and Smith, 2007; Seyfang and Haxeltine 2012; Seyfang et al. 2013; Seyfang et al. 2014; Smith et al. 2017; Martiskainen, 2017; Ruggiero et al. 2018; Hasanov and Zuidema, 2018; de Boer et al. 2018). Recognising the importance of community energy many scholars studied different internal and external conditions that contribute or hinder the success of local renewable energy initiatives (Walker et al. 2007; Bomberg and McEwen, 2012; Seyfang et al. 2013; Wirth, 2014; Hasanov and Zuidema, 2018; Ruggiero et al. 2018). One of such conditions contributing to the success of community energy initiatives is the capacity to adopt and utilize new technologies, for example, in the area of energy storage, which would increase flexibility and resilience of the communal energy supply systems.
However, as noted by Ruggiero et al. (2018), the scholarship remains unclear on “how a very diverse and relatively small sector such as community energy could scale up and promote a change in the dominant way of energy production”. What is then the real transformative power of local renewable energy initiatives and whether community energy can offer an alternative to the existing energy system? This paper aims to answer these questions by confronting the critical review of theory with the recent practice of community energy in the Netherlands to build and scale up independent and self-sustaining renewable energy supply structures on the local and national scale and drafting perspectives on the possible role of community energy in the new energy system.


ConferenceThe International Conference “New Pathways for Community Energy and Storage”, organised as a part of the CO-RISE project led together by the University of Groningen and University of Twente, funded by the programme on Social Responsible Innovation of the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO-MVI)
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  • energietransitie
  • gemeenschapsenergie
  • hernieuwbare energie
  • lokale initiatieven
  • energieopslag
  • routes voor energieproductie
  • gedecentraliseerde energieproductie
  • gedecentraliseerde energiesystemen
  • versnellen van de energietransitie
  • transformerende kracht


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