Citizen-led decentralised energy futures: Emerging rationales of energy system organisation

Anna J. Wieczorek*, Harald Rohracher, Dierk Bauknecht, Klaus Kubeczko, Simon Bolwig, Pieter Valkering, Regine Belhomme, Simone Maggiore

*Corresponding author

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


The current energy systems are undergoing fundamental changes driven by the climate crisis, unfolding digitalisation and increasing calls for a more active citizens' engagement. The impact of these ongoing trends on the future energy system, however, is far from straightforward. Although there is an increasing shift towards a decentralisation, it is not clear yet how exactly this new decentralised configuration will unfold and materialise. In this article we explore the rationales behind current trends towards a more decentralised electricity system. Given the developments in the electricity system, our study centres on emerging initiatives led by citizens and their values. Theoretically, we first mobilise the notion of socio-technical system as constituted and reproduced by actors, institutions, and technology, operating based on certain shared principles. We use this lens to describe the past and current energy system organisation. Secondly, based on two dimensions of value orientation and steering direction we define four emerging ideal-types socio-technical decentralisation configurations. We examine possible pathways of change, and the institutional, actor and technological preconditions they require, to become predominant forms of decentralisation. We conclude that although all forms of decentralisation may potentially contribute to low carbon objectives, they are likely to co-evolve catering to diverse system needs and the citizen requirements simultaneously.

TidsskriftEnergy Research & Social Science
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - 2024
Udgivet eksterntJa

Bibliografisk note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024

Citer dette