Dr. Gill Seyfang of the University of East Anglia in the UK will give a seminar, entitled 'Community Energy in the UK: examining grassroots innovations for sustainable energy transitions'.
Community Energy in the UK: examining grassroots innovations for sustainable energy transitions
System-changing innovations for sustainability transitions are proposed to emerge in radical innovative niches. ‘Strategic Niche Management’ theory predicts that niche-level actors and networks will aggregate learning from local projects, distilling and disseminating best practice. This should encourage the innovation to diffuse through replication. However, within this literature grassroots innovations emerging from civil society are an under-researched site of sociotechnical innovation for sustainable energy transitions.
Dr. Seyfang studies the emerging community energy sector in the UK to determine the role of grassroots innovations. Community energy includes both demand- and supply-side grassroots-led initiatives for sustainable energy such as community-owned renewable energy generation, village hall refurbishments, behaviour change initiatives and energy efficiency projects.
The presentation will present this research and draw out the implications of the research findings for niche and transition theory, for community energy and other grassroots practitioners aiming to build robust influential niches, and for policymakers eager to harness civil society’s innovative potential for sustainability.