Decentralised Energy Futures. Emerging New Logics of Energy System Organisation
19 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2022
Current energy system undergoes fundamental changes driven by the climate crisis, unfolding digitalisation and growing demands for more active involvement of citizens. While there is an increasing shift towards a decentralisation, it is not clear how the new decentralised logic will unfold. In this article we discuss the rationales behind current trends towards a more decentralised energy system. We mobilise the notion of socio-technical system as constituted and reproduced by actors, institutions, and technology, operating in a certain shared logic to describe the past and current energy system organisation. Based on two dimension of value and service orientation we define four emerging ideal-types decentralisation configurations. We analyse possible pathways of change and the institutional, actor and technological preconditions they require to become dominant forms of decentralisation. We conclude that although all forms of decentralisation may contribute to low carbon objectives, not all are equally transformative in character.
Keywords: Decentralisation, energy, socio-technical system, logic, organising principles, pathways
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