Fresh off the press: “New clean energy communities in polycentric settings: Four avenues for future research”

The NEWCOMERS’ team’s reflection on a research agenda on clean energy communities has been published in Energy Research & Social Science-

Since the beginning of the NEWCOMERS project, in June 2019, the NEWCOMERS team has engaged in many fruitful discussions, which allowed us to reflect on the yet to be answered research questions related to clean energy communities, and especially to open questions with regards to newly emerging types of energy communities, that involve distributed renewable energy generation, distributed storage, electricity trading, and opportunities to create value through demand response. While all partners contributed to the discussion from their disciplinary angle, we considered polycentric governance theory and its main elements as a common guiding framework, in which to embed our joint current and future research.

As a result, we are glad to see our joint reflection “New clean energy communities in polycentric settings: Four avenues for future research” published in Energy Research & Social Science. In the article, we offer a definition of the concept of new clean energy communities, discuss their potential for wider dissemination and identify four factors that contribute to the current mismatch between ambitions and reality in energy community development. Building on these factors, we present a broader framework inspired by polycentric governance theory, that will hopefully support and aid further research of energy communities from a multi- and interdisciplinary point of view. With this, we aim to open up four avenues for research on energy communities, which we outline in terms of enabling institutional contexts, the potential for learning and transferability, business models and value propositions, and evaluation of outcomes and processes.

The article is freely available here.

In line with our Open Education efforts, the article is open access and licensed under the CC BY license.