Projects per year
Community energy projects are attracting increasing attention as potential sources of innovation to support sustainable energy transitions. Research into ‘grassroots innovations’ like community energy often recognises the difficulties they face in simply surviving let alone in growing or seeding wider change. Strategic niche management theory is potentially helpful here as it highlights the important roles played by ‘intermediary actors’ in consolidating, growing and diffusing novel innovations. This paper presents the first in-depth analysis of intermediary work in the UK community energy sector. New empirical evidence was gathered through interviews with 15 community energy intermediaries and a content analysis of 113 intermediary-produced case studies about community energy projects. Analysis finds intermediaries adopting a variety of methods to try and diffuse generic lessons about context-specific projects, but that trying to coordinate support for local projects that exist amidst very different social and political circumstances is challenging. This is exacerbated by the challenges of building a coherent institutional infrastructure for a sector where aims and approaches diverge, and where underlying resources are uncertain and inconsistent. Applications of relatively simple, growth-oriented approaches like strategic niche management to grassroots innovations need to be reformulated to better recognise their diverse and conflicted realities on the ground.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Global Environmental Change|
|Early online date||21 Mar 2013|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2013|
- Strategic niche management
- Intermediary actors
- Grassroots innovation
- Community energy
- 1 Finished
Community Innovation in Sustainable Energy
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
31/10/10 → 31/03/14
- 371 Citations (Scopus)
- 2 Article
Making the most of community energies: Three perspectives on grassroots innovationSmith, A., Hargreaves, T., Hielscher, S., Martiskainen, M. & Seyfang, G., Feb 2016, In: Environment and Planning A. 48, 2, p. 407-432 26 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile202 Citations (Scopus)44 Downloads (Pure)
A grassroots sustainable energy niche?: Reflections on community energy in the UKSeyfang, G., Hielscher, S., Hargreaves, T., Martiskainen, M. & Smith, A., Dec 2014, In: Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions. 13, p. 21-44 24 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen Access273 Citations (Scopus)