Blending in, to transform the regime from within: Niche hybridisation strategies of Irish energy communities

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Abstract

This study aimed to get a better and more nuanced understanding of niche strategies in practice. Niche hybridisation strategies were conceptualised in relation to the three core dimensions of socio-technical systems (institutions, actors, and technology). This conceptualisation was applied to the case of Community Power (CP). CP is a community-owned supply company that combines elements of cooperative and commercial organisations, favoured by the community energy (niche) and commercial (regime) logics. CP was set up to enable energy communities to sell energy to their members and on electricity markets. As such, CP protected energy communities from market pressures, which allowed them to blend in and become more competitive within an unchanged selection environment. By stimulating wider diffusion of the community energy logic, CP attempted to passively stretch the regime. CP also tried to actively stretch the regime by engaging in institutional entrepreneurship, to make it more favourable towards community energy.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100761
Number of pages20
JournalEnvironmental Innovation and Societal Transitions
Volume48
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Keywords

  • Community energy
  • Energy transition
  • Hybrid organisations
  • Niche empowerment
  • Niche hybridisation strategies

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