Local is Beautiful: The emergence and development of local renewable energy organisations
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In order to alleviate urgent and pressing environmental issues, which are partly caused by our current energy production and demand, a transformation of the existing energy market is necessary. Decentralising the production and consumption of renewable energy on a community or household level through establishing local renewable energy organisations is suggested to enable this transformation. During the last two to three years the emergence of these organisations 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. Therefore this research aims to identify common explanatory variables that determine the emergence of local renewable energy organisations and attempts to assess whether these variables determine their appearance and development. This is captured by the main research question, which attempts to answer: which factors influence the emergence and development of local renewable energy organisations in the Netherlands? In order to answer the main research question, a comprehensive literature review on the innovation diffusion, micro generation and community renewable energy as well as several expert interviews are conducted to identify common factors that explain the emergence and development of local renewable energy organisations. In total 33 explanatory variables are anticipated to determine their founding process. These identified variables are empirically tested by means of a case study analysis covering thirteen cases and a survey. This resulted in the confirmation of 22 explanatory variables that influence the emergence and development of local renewable energy organisations in the Netherlands.