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The Impact of Renewable Energy Cooperatives on the Social Resilience of Their Communities
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Strategic Sustainable Development.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year))Student thesis
Abstract [en]

Major global problems, manifested by climate change and social inequality, reinforce the need for a societal shift towards sustainable practices. This transition requires new approaches in the future design of society. The current energy system, based on fossil fuels and centralized infrastructure is a key contributor to many of the socio-ecological issues related to the sustainability challenge. The intent of this research is to examine renewable energy cooperatives as an alternative to minimize the negative impacts of the current energy system. Using a Strategic Sustainable Development (SSD) approach with a Resilience Attribute Framework, this research explored the presence of resilience attributes (Trust, Diversity, Learning and Self-organization) and sustainability behavior in renewable energy cooperatives. The research then explored, through interview and surveys, the perceived impacts that these cooperatives had on the resilience and sustainability behavior of the wider community. Findings showed that energy cooperatives displayed high levels of the resilience through the attributes of: - Trust: due to non-profit status, ownership structure, localisation and shared values - Diversity: due to member and service diversity - Learning: through collaboration, diverse member knowledge and participation - Self-organization: due to cooperative development, leadership and outcomes (infrastructure and energy knowledge). This study showed that renewable energy cooperatives have numerous impacts on their community however; there were no significant evidence to suggest energy cooperatives transferred their high levels of social resilience to the community.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 52 p.
Keyword [en]
Energy Systems, Renewable Energy Cooperatives, Sustainability, Resilience, Adaptive Capacity, Strategic Sustainable Development
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-3504Local ID: diva2:830813
Educational program
SLASL (Master programme in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2015-04-22 Created: 2014-06-12 Last updated: 2015-11-09Bibliographically approved

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Department of Strategic Sustainable Development
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