Who has the power? Reflections on citizen engagement in district heating schemes in the UK and Sweden.

BULL, Richard and EADSON, William (2023). Who has the power? Reflections on citizen engagement in district heating schemes in the UK and Sweden. Energy Policy, 177: 113505.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113505


District heating (DH) schemes linked to Energy from Waste (EfW) and Biomass facilities have been championed for their potential to decarbonise heating yet their role in energy policy is contested. These schemes are a unique intersection between two vital environmental policy agendas - waste and energy - and can offer opportunities for citizens to affect both environmental agendas and future energy infrastructures. Much has been written on the technical opportunities of DH and its policy landscape. This paper explores an important missing piece, to explore to what extent and how DH schemes support citizen engagement in local heat infrastructure decision-making. The benefits of citizen engagement are understood but there is currently no clear and consistent implementation of stakeholder engagement policy in this area. Evidence from four qualitative case studies is presented from the UK and Sweden to investigate strategies used by developers and operators to engage with stakeholders and how this influences their decision-making. However, limited examples of bottom-up, unplanned moments of citizen engagement were found as practice fails to live up to theory and policy rhetoric: ownership structures came through in our research as a key factor in this disconnect.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Energy; 3304 Urban and regional planning; 4407 Policy and administration; 4802 Environmental and resources law
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2023.113505
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2023 11:36
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 16:17
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/31686

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