Building: Jean-Brillant Floor: 4 Room: B-4295
Liberalisation of the European energy market - such as the privatisation of electricity grids - and comparatively low costs of market entrance foster tendencies of decentralised (renewable) energy production. In this context a growing number of citizen-led initiatives have started producing sustainable forms of energy (green electricity, warmth). They are new actors in energy systems, and form up to be a serious component in the transition towards a low carbon economy. In strategic action fields and niche management theory, transitions literature, or multi-level-governance perspectives, LREIs are studied in several ways: such as seedbeds of social and technical innovations, novel civic initiatives that require new modes of governance, or as new entrants in energy markets with a tendency to ignite disruptive change.
The research focus on LREIs mainly lies on identifying patterns of success, i.e. their influence on power, policies, and politics towards a low carbon economy. While a lot of research has been carried out in recent years the discussion on LREIs often remains in a national context. Hence this panel pursues the goals of bringing together researchers in the field of LREIs to debate the pan-European and global meaning of LREIs.
On the panel we address the following questions: to what extent LREIs are legitimate and how do they relate to democratic values? What forms of governance do they challenge, what innovations do they evoke and how do governments (and companies) respond to the large-scale emergence of LREIs? How do we identify cross-national transferable patterns of best practices on a European / global level? Are questions on social and political acceptance of transition processes towards a low carbon economy thinkable in European / global context or bound to localities? We welcome papers using multiple forms of methods and research designs.