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The feasibility and relevance of a community-based energy autonomy: physical, social and institutional factors

Jean-Marc Callois (), Mihai Tivadar and Baptiste Sion
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Jean-Marc Callois: Irstea, Département Territoires
Mihai Tivadar: Université Grenoble Alpes, Irstea, UR DTGR
Baptiste Sion: CERDI, Université d’Auvergne

Review of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Studies, 2016, vol. 97, issue 4, 251-265

Abstract: Abstract The issue of a community-based energy autonomy is increasingly present in policy discourses. Such initiatives are supposed to reduce carbon footprint, while lowering dependence on external energy and creating new jobs. However, it is not clear whether such initiatives are efficient or even feasible on a large scale. This article examines the different factors that need to be taken into account, from the physical resources for renewable energy to the social and institutional factors (such as the intensity of social life or political cooperation). This article attempts to fill the gap in the literature on the role of nonmarket factors in regional development and the flourishing literature on renewable energy. By examining the physical distribution of resources in France, we show that there are many different pathways for increasing energy autonomy. Only a limited part of the French territory can achieve true autonomy, and this could be detrimental to industrial development. Thus, there should be a close coordination between national, regional and local levels of the administration. In order to examine the role of social and institutional factors on community-based energy autonomy initiatives, we performed an econometric analysis on the results of a national program aiming at fostering them. The results suggest a significant role for these factors in the emergence of these initiatives, which implies that policy instruments should take them into account.

Keywords: Bioeconomy; Energy autonomy; Renewable energy; Regional development (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: A13 O13 P48 Q49 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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