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The Role of Users in Socio-Technical Transitions – Local Energy Initiative Photovoltaic
1  International Centre for Integrated Assessment and Sustainable Development, University Maastricht

Published: 05 November 2013 by MDPI in The 3rd World Sustainability Forum session Sustainable Urban Development
Abstract: Local energy initiatives (LEI) are self-supporting participatory energy generation projects in which for example solar energy is produced in the vicinity of the participants. This means that a participant is both the producer and the consumer of the solar electricity (prosumer) and that the electricity is produced in the vicinity of its users. During the last years, the emergence of these initiatives in the Netherlands has shown a substantial growth. Due to their recent emergence little is known about the factors that stimulate or hamper the appearance and development of this phenomenon. In this paper, we investigate whether a LEI based upon active users can drive the diffusion of PV in the Netherlands and in broader view whether these initiatives can foster the transition from a fossil-fuel based system to a more sustainable energy based system. The neighborhood Biesland in Maastricht is used as a case study and shows throught the use of a questionnaire that there is a demand for such a product.
Keywords: Socio-technical transitions; local energy initiatives; photovoltaic