On 1 June 2010, Dr Elizabeth Bomberg (Politics and International Relations) and Dr Nicola McEwen (Co-Director, Institute of Governance), began a 15 month project to explore how communities across Scotland engage in the politics of energy. The project is supported by the UK Energy Research Centre (as part of its Energy Demand theme) and the Natural Environment Research Council.
This project aims to provide a comprehensive examination of energy-related grassroots action in Scotland, to uncover the impact different groups have on energy demand and energy governance.
We have compiled a directory of active community groups focused on energy efficiency, energy use or renewable and low carbon energy. The directory can be accessed from this site. It lets us see the range and characteristics of community-focused groups who seek policy concessions or policy change in the energy field.
The project also involves 6 in-depth case studies of a selection of groups. These case studies will explore three sets of questions:
(i) How autonomous are these groups from the formal structures of governmental and non-governmental organisations? Do they operate at arms length from formal structures, using their own resources? Or do they depend on financial and organisational support from government and non-governmental agencies in order to meet their policy goals?
(ii) How successful have they been in shaping policy agendas and policy outputs, or changing citizens’ behaviour in their local areas? What conventional and unconventional forms of political activity are they engaged in? Have their activities led to a reduction in energy demand or an increase in the use of micro- and community-scale generation in their communities?
(iii) Have local and community groups changed the nature of the energy policy network in their area? Have they forced existing policy networks to open up to accommodate community interests?
The project will produce a range of publications, including conference papers, articles and reports. All of these will be posted on this site.
This page was published on 22 August 2011