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About us Campus Fryslân Centre for Sustainable Entrepreneurship PhD research

Social Entrepreneurship on the Grid Edge

Imagine a group of people coming together around the shared project to produce energy locally, and who find ways to benefit from more social connections, as well as cheaper and cleaner energy. That's a recipe for a sustainable future! This is the focus of the project 'Social entrepreneurship at the grid edge'.

This project will explore how community groups can generate value through an energy system that is becoming more flexible and distributed. The project focuses specifically on demand side response and collective self-consumption opportunities. One of the key objectives of the project is to look beyond value generated in terms of energy, and also consider social value that is created by community energy groups.

Taking a social entrepreneurial perspective on community energy groups will help us understand how these groups can contribute to outcomes such as social cohesion, poverty reduction and wellbeing. Besides this great topic, another exciting aspect of this project is that it will connect critical infrastructure studies and place-based entrepreneurship theory, thereby linking two lines of work at Campus Fryslan on sustainable entrepreneurship (Emma Folmer) and on knowledge infrastructures for sustainability (Anne Beaulieu).

The project will include a comparative element between the UK and the Netherlands. This part of the project will be done by Esther van der Waal, who completed a PhD on Local energy innovators: collective experimentation for energy transition at the Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Groningen.

This project is funded by the Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (CREDS). We work in partnership with Dr. Charlotte Johnson and Alexandra Schneiders (University College London) and Dr. Anna Rebmann (Kings College Business School).

Last modified:29 September 2020 3.05 p.m.