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  • Creamer_et al Community energy

    Rights statement: This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Energy Research & Social Science. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Energy Research & Social Science, 57, 2020 DOI: 10.1016/j.erss.2019.101223

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Community renewable energy: What does it do? Walker and Devine-Wright (2008) ten years on

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Emily Creamer
  • Gerald Taylor Aiken
  • Bregje van Veelen
  • Gordon Walker
  • Patrick Devine-Wright
Article number101223
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/11/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Energy Research and Social Science
Number of pages6
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date2/08/19
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In 2008, Walker and Devine-Wright published a short article that is now a key way-marker in the field: ‘Community renewable energy: what should it mean?’. A decade on, in this Perspective we revisit Walker and Devine-Wright’s paper to re-examine its central themes and to identify opportunities for the coming ten years of community renewable energy (CRE) studies. Our Perspective takes the form of a series of paired reflections from the authors of the original paper and three early career researchers whose work it has influenced. We present these reflections in three themes. First, despite its title, the 2008 article itself is not centrally concerned with meanings, still less what CRE should mean. CRE is always defined by its context, therefore, we argue for an approach that is alive to these contexts. Second, while the article splits ‘process’ and ‘outcome’ when conceptualising interpretations of CRE, research labelling elements of CRE as either ‘process’ or ‘outcome’ can obscure CRE’s complex and entangled dynamics. Third, the past decade of scholarship emerging in this article’s wake has tended to concentrate on the means by which CRE develops, rather than on its ends. There is a need for greater attention on the impacts of CRE, particularly its role in achieving just transitions. We propose that new approaches could further galvanise the study of CRE to help better understand what CRE does, for whom and in what contexts.