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Title: The development and impacts of community renewable energy projects in rural Cumbria, UK
Author: Rogers, Jennifer Claire
ISNI:       0000 0004 2720 9605
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2010
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In the UK a consensus has emerged that renewable energy generation should be increased. Following public opposition to large-scale installations, interest has grown in the potential for community-based renewable energy developments, with high levels of local participation. Bottom up development processes are expected to deliver locally appropriate projects more likely to win public support, bring socio-economic and environmental benefits to rural areas and increase public engagement with sustainable energy issues. This thesis investigates the development and impacts of community renewable energy projects in rural Cumbria to assess the validity of these expectations. A series of in-depth case studies was undertaken to compare development of projects at different stages, with a focus on woodfuel heating. The research used an action research approach and grounded theory methodology for data analysis, as these techniques are appropriate for the study of complex, real-world problems. Abstract Title: Author: Submitted: The development and impacts of community renewable energy projects in rural Cumbria, UK Jennifer Claire Rogers, BSc October 2010 Considerable support for the concept of community-based renewable energy generation was found, alongside widespread enthusiasm for low-level participation in project development. Community-led project development was less attractive but can be successful in well-defined socially-cohesive communities where individuals have the skills, motivation and support to drive a bottom-up development process. Processes of project development as well as project outcomes were found to have positive impacts, although increased engagement with sustainable energy issues through community renewables did not necessarily lead to energy behaviour change. Overall the research indicated there is potential for community renewables which has by no means been realised yet, but that greater institutional support will be required for successful conversion of local ideas and enthusiasm into practical projects. Given that opportunities for community renewables are highly context-dependent the most effective support structures are likely to be locally-specific and responsive, and include more proactive approaches to identify and exploit opportunities with communities where independent local leadership does not emerge.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available