Community Energy Enterprises in a polycentric society: new devices for local energy system

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New technologies for “local energy systems” have recently reached a degree of maturity that now allows for significant innovations and investments in community-based initiatives. As such, they could have a critical role in totally new polycentric development processes. While the issue of distributed energy is widely discussed in technological terms, a more articulate connection between distributed energy productions and local initiatives still needs to be elaborated and put into practice. The main objective of this paper is therefore to verify how the availability and advancement of certain current technologies – along with the potential of new forms of community organisations – can solve some of the economic and environmental problems that are becoming an increasingly critical and inexorable challenge in today’s world. The principal issue here is that the crucial obstacle to innovating the utilities supplying statutory services to local communities today remains basically our outdated legislation and regulation. In many countries, the legal setup for the entire supply system was actually devised to secure and perpetuate the interests of the centralised, statutory energy sectors. This analysis therefore suggests ways in which certain elements of our legal framework might be revised and reformulated so as to allow greater leeway for the proliferation of bottom-up initiatives in energy production.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Definite Space – Fuzzy Responsibility, Prague, 13-16th July, 2015
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