Colloquium announcement

Faculty of Engineering Technology

Department Governance and Technology for Sustainability - BMS
Master programme Sustainable Energy Technology

As part of his / her masterassignment

Leonardo Teodoro Ferreira Nascimento

will hold a speech entitled:

An agent-based behavioural investigation of the creation of Local Energy Initiatives

RoomOH 110


Local Energy Initiatives (LEIs) are organisations initiated and managed by actors of the civil society with goals associated with the energy production and consumption. These initiatives are tools for the further use of renewable energy technologies in society. Nonetheless, literature would still benefit from a better understanding of their creation and their impact on the establish energy regime.

LEIs are very diverse, but all of them have their civil-society nature as a unifying factor. Therefore, an agent-based model considering the formation of these using citizens as their base helps to identify factors that may push them forward. This model is designed considering that agents pass through a stage-like dynamic process to develop enough environmental concern, community trust, and sound perception of personal gain to become initiators or supporters of projects in their communities. A community forms a LEI if a leadership board exists, and if the investment of the supporters is sufficient to realise the leadership vision.

This research focuses on the impact of cooperative and innovative orientations on the creation of Local Energy Initiatives. The results show that both are positively related to the establishment of LEIs. Nevertheless, cooperative orientation is not essential. People join these projects to help others; maximising the outcomes for themselves is not a requirement.

In situations where people resist the idea of an initiative, an increase in cooperative orientation do not help in the creation of LEIs. On the other hand, an increase in the share of innovative agents always increased the number of initiatives. Furthermore, results indicate that the leadership is the main bottleneck for the formation of LEIs. Therefore, marketing and policy strategies should focus on initiators. Even though increasing the number of innovative people is not possible, it is possible to invite them forward by incentivizing entrepreneurship behaviour. Also, the development of standardised tools or guides to make the leadership process less labour-intensive would lower the number of citizens required in the leadership board.

The creation of an agent-based model enables social and technological experimentation. This work does not attempt to exhaust all exploration possibilities, not even with the model at hand. It is also possible to assess the behaviour of other countries by updating data sources or updating subsidy and technology options. Next steps should involve connecting these initiatives to generate more insights on their emergence and their impact on the energy regime.