Recent years have seen a surge in interest and activity in small-scale, sustainable energy projects led by local communities. Examples include solar water heating clubs and insulation clubs, which provide mutual support for system installation; energy awareness and behaviour networks, which provide guidance and reassurance to neighbours on energy matters relevant to them; and co-operatively-owned small-scale renewable energy systems, such as micro-hydro and wind energy.
This research project studies the diffusion of community energy projects in the UK. It explores the extent of networking between projects, and whether this is assisting in the innovation of community energy. We also assess the performance of projects and provide independent advice to policy-makers and energy businesses about the merits and processes for supporting community energy.
We draw upon the findings of our research to develop with practitioners a number of Foresight scenarios for community energy in the UK.
Contacts: Dr Adrian Smith, SPRU, University of Sussex; firstname.lastname@example.org; 01273 9877065.
Duration: October 2010 until September 2013