Development of a Best-Practice Framework for the Introduction of Sustainable Energy Communities in Europe: Lessons from Initial Field Studies in Denmark and Ireland
Costello, Gabriel J.
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This paper presents the findings from initial fieldwork studies of sustainable energy community (SEC) development methodologies in two islands in Denmark and one rural village in Ireland. This study was undertaken in order to determine the nature of the social and institutional barriers to the development of SECs at local level. The main goals of this study are; (1) to determine the enablers and barriers to the successful development of two SECs in Denmark and one in Ireland; (2) to assess the successful elements of previously implemented SEC development methodologies and (3); to examine how can these successful methodologies be implemented in Inis Oírr island in the West of Ireland (the nominated case study). The evidence presented in this paper indicates that the social barriers are interconnected and often reinforce each other. Nevertheless, the key barriers causing inertia in the development process of SECs can also be used in a positive manner to enable their successful development. This article suggests that a comprehensive understanding of how barriers can be transformed into enablers can support the successful development of SECs at local level in Ireland. The significant contribution of this work is the initial step in the development of a toolkit to aid in the successful development of SECs in Ireland and Europe.
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