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Supporting renewable energy deployment: exploring routes from research into practice

This Economic and Social Research Council fellowship builds upon PhD research and provides the platform to disseminate the key success factors that need to be in place for the delivery of renewable energy deployment.

The fellowship will provide the opportunity to share and expand upon research findings, engage relevant interdisciplinary academics and explore with users the practical implications, making research findings usable and accessible.

It will also support the refinement of policy advice and recommendations aimed at improving the design of future policy intervention.

PhD research

The PhD investigated the mechanisms that lead to an effective diffusion of renewable energy technologies, exploring their spatial differential (how and where these technologies might be deployed), and examining the relationship between energy and materiality.

The research highlighted several material dimensions of renewable energy, discussing and unpacking why, and in what ways, they matter, and why it is important to give them consideration.

Findings

Conceptually, the PhD work showed that stressing the material dimensions of renewable energy offers an opportunity to explain how particular renewable energy resources come to be fashioned in some areas and not in others.

Analytically, it provided an empirical framework within which the issues of materiality can be explored. This heuristic approach has been valuable in explaining spatial differences in Italy and the UK and can be adopted for further comparative empirical investigations.

Despite a growing consensus about ‘why’ governments need to prioritise policy frameworks to accelerate renewable energy deployment and a developing knowledge base about ‘what’ needs to be done, the critical question remains: ‘how’ do we accelerate action and progress to deliver renewable energy deployment at regional level?

The research highlighted that institutional capacity, planning and governance, the variety of actors and interests, compelling visions and credible expectations are all necessary prerequisites for coherent policy outcomes. Their effects, however, are influenced by the peculiarities and specificities of the regional contexts in which renewable energy projects emerge.


The project team

Principal investigator

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Dr Carla De Laurentis

Postdoctoral Fellow