Hot air or new energy: are we seeing signs of improved citizen engagement in district heating schemes?

Bull, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-4372-3589 and Eadson, W., 2022. Hot air or new energy: are we seeing signs of improved citizen engagement in district heating schemes? In: ECEEE 2022 Summer Study Proceedings. Stockholm: European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ECEEE), pp. 245-253. ISBN 9789198387889

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District heating schemes linked to Energy from Waste (EfW) and Biomass facilities occupy a contested space in the energy policy landscape. Once viewed as a low carbon solution, their environmental credentials are now questioned and their place in the waste hierarchy unclear. But for many cities across Eu-rope existing waste management facilities and pipe networks occupy an important place in carbon reduction strategies with an infrastructure ripe for development as other energy sources are considered. These schemes are a unique intersection between two key environmental policy agendas-waste and energy-offering a distinctive potential for citizens to impact environmental agendas, and in the future of urban energy infrastructure. This paper responds to this question by exploring how and to what extent we are seeing greater citizen-focused stakeholders participating in local heat infrastructure decision-making. The benefits of engagement are highlighted in existing literature but there is currently no clear and consistent implementation of stakeholder engagement policy, especially for heat infrastructure. Evidence from qualitative case studies is presented (Not-tingham and Sheffield in England and Helsingborg and Malmö in Sweden) to investigate strategies used by heat infrastructure developers and operators to engage with their stakeholders and how this engagement influences the decision-making of the heat network operators. We found limited examples of bottom-up, unplanned moments of citizen engagement and historic partnership arrangements that allow for more formal citizen engagement. The deliberative turn with oft-cited benefits of improved decision-making, greater acceptance and improved environmental citizenship has yet to come of age, certainly with regards to district heating.

Item Type: Chapter in book
Description: Paper presented at the ECEEE 2022 Summer Study on Energy Efficiency: Agents of Change Conference, Hyères, France, 6-11 June 2022.
Creators: Bull, R. and Eadson, W.
Publisher: European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ECEEE)
Place of Publication: Stockholm
Date: 21 July 2022
ISBN: 9789198387889
Divisions: Schools > School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 01 Aug 2022 10:06
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2022 10:06
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