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date: 16 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

There have been many attempts to include citizens as more active players in the proliferation of renewable energy technologies. However, the roles that citizen users play in renewables proliferation are not limited to adoption, but include technological domestication, innovation, and market creation. This chapter first reviews innovation by citizen users in the early phases of small-scale renewable energy technologies (S-RET) technology development in wind turbines, solar collectors, and low-energy housing. It then examines user innovation and peer assistance in the later phases of diffusion in air-source and ground-source heat pumps, pellet-burning systems, and solar collectors. It reviews research user motivations, diffusion pathways, and peer intermediation, and pays particular attention to how the forms of innovative citizen energy communities are changing from locality-based community energy initiatives to distributed and Internet-mediated energy communities. The chapter concludes by drawing policy implications regarding user innovation and peer assistance in the transformation of energy systems.

Keywords: citizen, renewable energy, energy community, heat, solar, pellet

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