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Title: The role of agents for change in the sustainable development of wave energy in the Highlands and Islands region of Scotland
Author: Billing, Suzannah-Lynn
ISNI:       0000 0004 5914 4578
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of the Highlands and Islands
Date of Award: 2016
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With the Scottish Government's commitment to sourcing 100% of the national electricity demand from renewable sources by 2020, within the global framework of climate change mitigation, the potential of the marine environment around the Highlands and Islands Region of Scotland to add to Scotland's renewables portfolio has led to the expansion of the wave and tidal industries in recent years. Nevertheless, to date, there has been limited research conducted on the social systems around marine renewable energy development, excluding offshore wind. In answer to this deficit, this study explores a well-established concept within the academic arenas of business, health, and rural development, among others, of agents for change (AFCs), within the context of the rapidly emerging wave energy sector. Two case studies, Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, and Orkney, were chosen based on their localities and the interest that they have garnered from wave energy developers due to their high energy marine environments. A grounded approach was taken to data collection and a social power analysis was conducted in order to find AFCs working within or closely with the wave energy industry that were not part of structured or hierarchical organisations. One emergent theme was that there was a noteworthy barrier to wave energy development in the case studies and to the work that the agents for change were doing in the form of a complex dynamic between financial investments in the sector, national grid, national energy policy, and the technology itself. The agents for change were found to act as catalysts for the wave energy industry through their perseverance and visionary approach to development. The motivations of the AFCs is discussed and the shifting roles that they took as a project progresses is described and compared to other change process models, namely Lewin (1958) and Kotter (1995).
Supervisor: Black, Kenny ; Rennie, Frank Sponsor: European Social Fund
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Renewable energy sources ; Ocean wave power