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WIREs Energy Environ.
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Advancing transformative sustainability: A comparative analysis of electricity service and supply innovators in the United States

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The electricity sector is undergoing rapid and dramatic change. The momentum of sustainable energy technologies and business model innovation is giving rise to a “polycentric” framework of policy innovation and action organized by institutions that support customer choice and give customers the means to become electricity generators and service providers in their own right. These local experiments will have to deliver transformative change, flexibly address the electricity sector's legacy of political and administrative complexity, achieve scale and financial sustainability, and enable greater and wider stakeholder participation and choice. This article reviews the evidence to date of the importance of these experiments and examines three innovators—municipal utilities, community choice aggregators, and the sustainable energy utility—to gauge the capacity of pioneers to address climate‐driven and other challenges in the electricity market. This article is categorized under: Energy Efficiency > Economics and Policy Energy Infrastructure > Economics and Policy Energy Efficiency > Systems and Infrastructure
Characteristics of the first financing round of PennSEF, the PennSEF Streetlight Program. Source: Authors
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