Grassroots Innovations as Sustainable Place-making? Exploring Community-owned Renewable Energy in Australia
Contemporary renewable energy transitions are increasingly inclusive of citizen/co-operative models of engagement and ownership to achieve sustainability goals. Whilst much progress has been made on the ground and in published works concerning best practice and financing model development, there is little empirical evidence to support claims of broad-reaching community benefits from CRE project implementation, such as increased energy autonomy, sense of autarky, providing a platform for technological innovation, provide local investment, tourism and employment opportunities and decreasing community carbon footprint through direct and peripheral means.
This research aims to contribute to the growing interest and research body surrounding community models of renewable energy implementation and ownership. Through developing and testing an evaluative/appraisal methodological framework, this thesis will define and apply a set of easily replicable, accessible and non-data intensive indicators across a range of case studies to provide a clear and unambiguous evidence base to underpin context-specific policy and government support. It is hoped that by quantifying and promoting the co-benefits of citizen participation and involvement in renewable energy projects in countries where CRE is well-established, such as Denmark and Scotland, a business case can be made for further support of CRE projects at a national level.
Funding: Australian Postgraduate Award (APA)