A Complex Transition Perspective on Community Energy.

Most transition studies of community energy are focused on analyzing empirical examples in the UK from a socio-technical Multi-Level Perspective (MLP). This paper aims to expand the transitions perspective on community energy both empirically and theoretically.


This paper takes a complex transition perspective to analyse community energy initiatives in four West-European countries (The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and UK). The term ‘complex transition perspective’ refers to an assemblage of perspectives in the field of transition research that share a basis in complex system thinking and action research, also referred to as the ‘systemic and reflexive
The paper starts with fresh empirical observations on community energy initiatives, describing drivers and barriers in the community energy initiatives, as experienced by practitioners involved. Subsequently, these empirical observations are considered from a complex transition perspective, specifying what the analytical implications are of taking such perspective, how this differs from the socio-technical Multi-Level Perspective, and what kind of implications it has for action research and policy regarding community energy initiatives and sustainability transitions.

Flor Avelino, Niki Frantzeskaki, Rick Bosman

Avelino, F., Frantzeskaki, N., Bosman, R. (2013) “A Complex Transition Perspective on Community Energy. Exploring the Dynamics of Community Energy from a Complex Transition Perspective.” In: Quist, J., Wittmayer, J., Umpfenbach, K. and Bauler, T. Pathways, Transitions and Backcasting for Low-Carbon and Sustainable Lifestyles. Sustainable Consumption Transitions Series, Issue 3 Proceedings of SCORAI Europe Workshop, 7-8 October 2013, Rotterdam. The Netherlands, p. 141.
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October 30, 2013