New project on energy, innovation and community

Imagine a group of people coming together around the shared project to produce energy locally, and who ways to benefit from more social connections, as well as cheaper and cleaner energy. That’s a recipe for a sustainable future!

This is the focus of a project for which funding has recently been announced, and entitled ‘Social entrepreneurship at the grid edge’.

Led by Charlotte Johnson (UCL), this project will explore how community groups can generate value through an energy system that is becoming more flexible and distributed. The project focuses specifically on demand side response and collective self-consumption opportunities.

Besides this great topic, another exciting aspect of this project is that it will connect critical infrastructure studies and place-based entrepreneurship theory, thereby linking two lines of work at Campus Fryslan on sustainable entrepreneurship (Emma Folmer) and on knowledge infrastructures for sustainability (Anne Beaulieu).

The project will include a comparative element between the UK and the Netherlands. This part of the project will be done by Esther van der Waal, who is just completing a PhD on Local energy innovators: collective experimentation for energy transition at the Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Groningen.Dr Anna Rebmann (Kings College Business School) will also be involved.


A steering committee of stakeholders and academics will further support the project; UK Power Networks, Carbon Coop, Power2Change, Newham Council, Dr Sarah Darby (University of Oxford), Prof Sarah Bell (UCL IEDE), Prof David Shipworth (UCL Energy Institute) and Dr Anne Beaulieu (University of Groningen).

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