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Towards a citizen-driven low-carbon energy transition: Exploring the potential for collective investment schemes in community renewable energy in Europe to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Pons-Seres, Cristian LU (2019) In Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science MESM02 20191
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)
Abstract
The European Union’s (EU) ‘market-oriented’ approach to renewable energy development risks undermining the ability of individual citizens to meaningfully contribute to, and benefit from, a decentralised, localised, and decarbonised energy system. In spite of the EU’s ambition to involve local communities for co-driving a low-carbon energy transition, there is no comprehensive analysis uncovering the extent to which citizen participation can meaningfully contribute to decarbonise Europe’s energy system within an increasingly limited timeframe demanding drastic cuts in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at an accelerated pace.

This thesis addresses this knowledge gap by estimating European citizens’ expected financial participation in... (More)
The European Union’s (EU) ‘market-oriented’ approach to renewable energy development risks undermining the ability of individual citizens to meaningfully contribute to, and benefit from, a decentralised, localised, and decarbonised energy system. In spite of the EU’s ambition to involve local communities for co-driving a low-carbon energy transition, there is no comprehensive analysis uncovering the extent to which citizen participation can meaningfully contribute to decarbonise Europe’s energy system within an increasingly limited timeframe demanding drastic cuts in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at an accelerated pace.

This thesis addresses this knowledge gap by estimating European citizens’ expected financial participation in community renewable energy developments as a means to quantify individual citizens’ carbon abatement potential within a transitionary period towards a carbon-neutral energy system by mid-century. This is done by using an international survey on environmental and energy-related behaviours and consumption patterns conducted across 31 European countries, and estimating the probability that the average representative European citizen would participate in the collective financing of community-based RE generation schemes, based on a choice experiment.

The results obtained indicate a substantial potential contribution of European citizens –more than €176 billion – for collectively financing the deployment of 91 GW of renewable power capacity across the EU. This would translate into an energy generation potential of 196 GWh annually, which in turn would lead to an 8.3% annual increase in the consumption of renewable energy, and result in an aggregated reduction of over 103 MtCO2-eq annually – equivalent to a 2.3% annual reduction in total greenhouse gas emissions from 2017 levels for the entire EU. In order to unlock this potential, EU climate and energy policy should generate the necessary economic incentives through a more collaborative approach to competition-based renewable energy deployment. (Less)
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author
Pons-Seres, Cristian LU
supervisor
organization
course
MESM02 20191
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
community renewable energy, energy transition, collective investment, greenhouse gas emissions, sustainability science
publication/series
Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science
report number
2019:006
language
English
id
8978338
date added to LUP
2019-06-03 15:02:37
date last changed
2019-06-03 15:02:37
@misc{8978338,
  abstract     = {The European Union’s (EU) ‘market-oriented’ approach to renewable energy development risks undermining the ability of individual citizens to meaningfully contribute to, and benefit from, a decentralised, localised, and decarbonised energy system. In spite of the EU’s ambition to involve local communities for co-driving a low-carbon energy transition, there is no comprehensive analysis uncovering the extent to which citizen participation can meaningfully contribute to decarbonise Europe’s energy system within an increasingly limited timeframe demanding drastic cuts in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at an accelerated pace.

This thesis addresses this knowledge gap by estimating European citizens’ expected financial participation in community renewable energy developments as a means to quantify individual citizens’ carbon abatement potential within a transitionary period towards a carbon-neutral energy system by mid-century. This is done by using an international survey on environmental and energy-related behaviours and consumption patterns conducted across 31 European countries, and estimating the probability that the average representative European citizen would participate in the collective financing of community-based RE generation schemes, based on a choice experiment.

The results obtained indicate a substantial potential contribution of European citizens –more than €176 billion – for collectively financing the deployment of 91 GW of renewable power capacity across the EU. This would translate into an energy generation potential of 196 GWh annually, which in turn would lead to an 8.3% annual increase in the consumption of renewable energy, and result in an aggregated reduction of over 103 MtCO2-eq annually – equivalent to a 2.3% annual reduction in total greenhouse gas emissions from 2017 levels for the entire EU. In order to unlock this potential, EU climate and energy policy should generate the necessary economic incentives through a more collaborative approach to competition-based renewable energy deployment.},
  author       = {Pons-Seres, Cristian},
  keyword      = {community renewable energy,energy transition,collective investment,greenhouse gas emissions,sustainability science},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {Master Thesis Series in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science},
  title        = {Towards a citizen-driven low-carbon energy transition: Exploring the potential for collective investment schemes in community renewable energy in Europe to reduce greenhouse gas emissions},
  year         = {2019},
}