Can renewable energy initiatives transform the energy system as a whole? And how can we avoid that a renewable energy system intensifies biodiversity loss and exacerbates social injustice? In her PHD, former DRIFTer and current energy transition ally Antonia Proka explores whether renewable energy initiatives can transform the energy system as a whole.
Renewable energy initiatives are mushrooming in Europe and beyond, bringing to the fore a wide variety of novel ways of organising in the energy sector. Renewable energy communities, Energy Service Companies, citizen-driven energy cooperatives, crowdfunding and peer-to-peer platforms, as well as commercial energy project developers all contribute to the ongoing energy transition in their own distinct way. Can renewable energy initiatives can transform the energy system as a whole?
Antonia’s research analyses and evaluates the impact of renewable energy initiatives on the energy transition. The issue of organising is central. Technological innovation alone, without considerating who benefits and who is excluded, without a reflection on what is gained and at what cost, may get us to a 100% renewable energy system with intensified biodiversity loss and exacerbated social injustice. With the wish to support the transition to an environmentally sustainable and socially just energy system, the specific overarching research question guiding this thesis has been:
How can we understand the role and impact of renewable energy initiatives in the context of broader systemic changes in the energy domain and how can this impact be increased?
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The research resulting in this thesis has been financially supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) under the research programme “TRAPESES” (2014–2018) [grant number 408-13-029].
March 5, 2021