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

Bull, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-4372-3589 and Eadson, W., 2023. Who has the power? Reflections on citizen engagement in district heating schemes in the UK and Sweden. Energy Policy, 177: 113505. ISSN 0301-4215

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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: Journal article
Publication Title: Energy Policy
Creators: Bull, R. and Eadson, W.
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: June 2023
Volume: 177
ISSN: 0301-4215
Rights: ©2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Divisions: Schools > School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 16 Mar 2023 09:29
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2023 09:29
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/48516

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