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Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 550; doi:10.3390/su9040550

Pioneering Renewable Energy in an Economic Energy Policy System: The History and Development of Dutch Grassroots Initiatives

Institute for Management Research, Radboud University, 6500 HK Nijmegen, The Netherlands
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Academic Editors: Michiel Heldeweg, Ellen van Bueren, Anna Butenko, Thomas Hoppe, Séverine Saintier and Victoria Daskalova
Received: 5 January 2017 / Revised: 15 March 2017 / Accepted: 30 March 2017 / Published: 5 April 2017
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Abstract

The first grassroots initiatives for renewable energy in The Netherlands were a small number of wind cooperatives that developed in the 1980s and 1990s. After a few years without developments, new initiatives started emerging after 2000, and after 2009 the movement boomed, growing from around 40 to over 360 initiatives. These initiatives form an active, large and diverse movement that uses various motivations, technologies and connections, which have changed over time. This article uses a mixed methodology, aiming to map the development of these different “waves of initiatives” and relate them to the way in which the initiatives fit with their institutional environment. Institutional changes—such as the liberalization of the energy market, changing energy policies and discourses and a policy field that became increasingly multi-actor and multi-level—have influenced the presence and activities of grassroots initiatives. The article concludes that the growth and increasing visibility of the movement can be attributed to a large institutional fit at the decentral level, but that the low priority for grassroots initiatives and the economic rationale of the national government have hindered the political influence and installed capacity of renewable energy production facilities of the initiatives. View Full-Text
Keywords: grassroots initiatives; renewable energy; bottom-up; energy policy; institutional fit; The Netherlands; mixed method grassroots initiatives; renewable energy; bottom-up; energy policy; institutional fit; The Netherlands; mixed method
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Oteman, M.; Kooij, H.-J.; Wiering, M.A. Pioneering Renewable Energy in an Economic Energy Policy System: The History and Development of Dutch Grassroots Initiatives. Sustainability 2017, 9, 550.

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