Social impacts of community renewable energy projects: findings from a woodfuel case study

Rogers, Jennifer, Simmons, Eunice, Convery, Ian ORCID logo ORCID: and Weatherall, Andrew ORCID logo ORCID: (2012) Social impacts of community renewable energy projects: findings from a woodfuel case study. Energy Policy, 42 . pp. 239-247. Full text not available from this repository.

(Contact the author)
Official URL:


There is much current interest in the potential of community-based renewable energy projects to contribute to transition towards low carbon energy systems. As well as displacing fossil fuel consumption by increasing renewable energy generation, projects are expected to have a range of social impacts which may result in additional positive sustainability outcomes. These include potential to increase: acceptance of renewable energy developments; awareness of renewable and sustainable energy technologies and issues; uptake of low carbon technologies; and sustainable/pro-environmental behaviours. To date however, there has been little investigation of whether and how these impacts occur. This paper presents results from qualitative research investigating the social impacts of a community woodfuel project as experienced by project participants and other local stakeholders. Findings show projects can raise awareness of renewable energy technologies and increase uptake of renewables. Overall the case study project successfully changed the local social context for development of woodfuel heating, reducing risk for all involved in the future development of this sector, particularly in the immediate locality. There was some evidence of increased engagement with wider sustainability issues but this was limited to direct participants, suggesting local projects need to be supported by wider systemic change to maximise impacts.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: Energy Policy
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0301-4215
Departments: Academic Departments > Science, Natural Resources & Outdoor Studies (SNROS) > Forestry and Conservation
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2014 12:35
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 10:45
Edit Item