Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: community renewable energy; sociotechnical imaginary; multilevel perspective; energy transition
Online: 2 June 2021 (09:11:15 CEST)
The current paper aims to contribute to the literature on community renewable energy by considering two projects developed in the north-west of Italy, in the Piedmont region. The case-studies are analysed by combining two theoretical perspectives: the multilevel perspective and the sociotechnical imaginary approach. On the one hand, applying the first perspective helps reconstruct the context and circumstances that have permitted Piedmont’s energy community projects to emerge. In particular, attention is given to the windows of opportunity created by the passing of the Milleproroghe decree at the national level and by the ensuing regional law 12/2018, which acknowledged the establishment of energy communities in the Piedmont. On the other hand, the sociotechnical imaginary approach allows identifying collective ideas and meanings that emerge when individuals or groups promote a sociotechnical innovation. In our cases, two main future changes are associated with community renewable energy: an integral ecology approach and a stronger sense of community on the one hand, and local development opportunities for rural areas characterised by depopulation, low employment rate and high energy demand, on the other.