Sustainable or segregated? Energy communities for a broad sustainable energy transition
Funded by: Formas
Time period: 20210901 - 20250831
Partner organizations: Uppsala university and Uppsala municipality
Project leader: Klas Palm
Project members: Magnus Åberg, Cajsa Bartusch, Isak Öhrlund, Susanne Urban, Nils Herting, Linea Nedar, Anders Hollinder.
The energy community (EC) concept is under development and has recently gained wide popularity among policy-makers. EC describes networks of local producers and consumers of energy and exists in various forms, including what the European Commission has described as “citizen energy communities” and “renewable energy communities”. However, technology for renewable energy is not distributed equally among different socio-economic groups which leads to gentrification, segregation and can also in the long run lead to serious conflicts.
We aim to improve the understanding on how EC's can be used as tools in the planning of an inclusive, just and efficient energy transition. The objectives are to produce new know ledge on (i) the intentions, opportunities and strategies among key actors in public policy and public planning to externally guide and organize EC's, (ii) the internal conditions, enablers and obstacles for creation and management of EC's, and (iii) the potentials and risks with EC's contributions to reduce energy segregation. We w ill also provide practical guidance to planners, leading to increased quality in decision-making related to energy transition in Sw eden. In the project, researchers in the social and engineering sciences at Uppsala University together w ith practitioners at Uppsala Municipality will explore scope , limitations and compilations of EC's, and work out advice for their planning so as to facilitate a transition to a sustainable society.