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Sustainability 2013, 5(4), 1747-1763; doi:10.3390/su5041747
Article

Public Values and Community Energy: Lessons from the US and UK

1,* , 2
, 3
, 4
, 5
 and 6
1 Department of Political Science, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota 55105, USA 2 College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Department of Geography, University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus, Truro, TR11 4DW, UK 3 Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs), University of Minnesota's Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships & Extension, St. Paul, Minnesota 55108, USA 4 Department of Political Science, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota 55105, USA 5 School of Construction Management and Engineering, Whiteknights, University of Reading, Reading, RG6 6UR, UK 6 Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs), University of Minnesota's Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships & Extension, St. Paul, Minnesota 55108, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 January 2013 / Revised: 8 April 2013 / Accepted: 16 April 2013 / Published: 23 April 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Policy and Sustainability)
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Abstract

This paper examines some of the normative aspects of “community energy” programmes—defined here as decentralized forms of energy production and distributed energy technologies where production decisions are made as close as possible to sources of consumption. Such projects might also display a degree of separation from the formal political process. The development of a community energy system often generates a great deal of debate about both the degree of public support for such programmes and the values around which programmes ought to be organized. Community energy programmes also raise important issues regarding the energy choice problem, including questions of process, that is, by whom a project is developed and the influence of both community and exogenous actors, as well as certain outcome issues regarding the spatial and social distribution of energy. The case studies, drawn from community energy programmes in both the United States and the United Kingdom, allow for a careful examination of all of these factors, considering in particular the complex interplay and juxtaposition between the ideas of “public value” and “public values”.
Keywords: community energy; public values; public sphere; local energy governance community energy; public values; public sphere; local energy governance
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hoffman, S.M.; Fudge, S.; Pawlisch, L.; High-Pippert, A.; Peters, M.; Haskard, J. Public Values and Community Energy: Lessons from the US and UK. Sustainability 2013, 5, 1747-1763.

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