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Article

Transitions to Future Energy Systems: Learning from a Community Test Field

1
Department of Geography & Centre for Climate and Energy Transformation, University of Bergen, 5007 Bergen, Norway
2
Centre for the Study of the Sciences and the Humanities, University of Bergen, 5007 Bergen, Norway
3
Tamera Peace Research Centre, 7630-392 Monte do Cerro, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4513; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124513
Received: 12 September 2018 / Revised: 25 November 2018 / Accepted: 29 November 2018 / Published: 30 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Innovations in the Energy Transition)
This article explores the challenges of transitioning towards future energy systems in a solar test field within the eco-community of Tamera, Portugal. We examine what findings can point to wider actionability and how. First, we consider how Tamera’s solar test field has addressed energy transition challenges. We unpack the nature of stability and change in achieving 60 percent energy autonomy; trace the linkages to spatiotemporal issues implicated in this sociotechnical process informed by keen commitment to energy justice; and dwell on the test field’s socioeconomic considerations at its interface with the Portuguese institutional framework and global connections. Second, we identify which findings can fertilise policy and action across European contexts. Considerations in gradually installing sub-100 kW solar capacity contrast starkly with the current proliferation of grid-scale solar in southern Portugal, raising questions about the actionability of knowledge on sociotechnical transitions. We co-generate ideas on how such contextualised epistemological advances can aid our understanding of societal energy transitions. The article encourages socially informed, integrated policy pathways. It speaks to building epistemological complementarities between applied researchers and practicing agents; problematises linking across scale between a community and institutionalising powers; and calls for actionable efforts that integrate systems thinking and power dynamics towards transformation. View Full-Text
Keywords: community energy; sociotechnical transition; Portugal; solar power; actionable knowledge community energy; sociotechnical transition; Portugal; solar power; actionable knowledge
MDPI and ACS Style

Sareen, S.; Baillie, D.; Kleinwächter, J. Transitions to Future Energy Systems: Learning from a Community Test Field. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4513. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124513

AMA Style

Sareen S, Baillie D, Kleinwächter J. Transitions to Future Energy Systems: Learning from a Community Test Field. Sustainability. 2018; 10(12):4513. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124513

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sareen, Siddharth, Douglas Baillie, and Jürgen Kleinwächter. 2018. "Transitions to Future Energy Systems: Learning from a Community Test Field" Sustainability 10, no. 12: 4513. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124513

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