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Comparing community energy development in Finland and the UK

Panel: 8. Dynamics of consumption

This is a peer-reviewed paper.

Mari Martiskainen, Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand, Sussex Energy Group, Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex, United Kingdom


This research paper focuses on the development of community and local energy projects in Finland and the UK. Finland has relatively little citizen-led community energy activity, but in the last few years small, innovative local projects have started to emerge. UK, on the other hand, has had a surge of interest in community energy for several years. This paper looks at community energy in the two countries through the eyes of four case studies, two in each country. These include citizen-led sustainable energy activities such as replacing fossil fuel based heating with renewables and developing local energy efficiency activities. Community energy is approached through strategic niche management theory and seen as a niche, a space within which innovative activity can take place, develop and potentially diffuse. Data from interviews with 12 community energy practitioners and 10 intermediary organisations are used to answer questions on what is a community energy niche and how do projects interact with that niche. The successful development of community energy projects is often down to several factors. The community energy projects analysed for this research have been aided by dedicated leaders, external funding sources and the ability to seek new information, adapt that to each individual circumstance and learn in the process.


Download this paper as pdf: 8-290-13_Martiskainen.pdf