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WIREs Energy Environ.
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A survey of expert attitudes on understanding and governing energy autonomy at the local level

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Local governments around the world pursue a range of activities to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency, and promote locally generated renewable energy. Yet many underestimate the potential their locality possesses in becoming fully energy efficient and self‐sufficient, and in particular, tapping into the natural potential, which exists on rooftops, facades, underground, in streams, fields, and forests for locally generated renewable energy, harvested in a sustainable manner. This lack of awareness has effected the perception and motivation of local governments to pursue energy projects with more lasting environmental effects. This survey of international experts in energy, local governance, and urban planning reveals that most were of the opinion that existing structures within local government were capable of pursuing energy autonomy, provided that a thorough review of existing levels of knowledge, logistical arrangements, and financial capacities is carried out to determine whether they are indeed capable of fulfilling the necessary functions and to carry out the necessary activities. The establishment of energy development entities outside the established structure, that are also accountable to the local government, can only be considered once the aforementioned analyses show that adjustments within the existing organization would be difficult to achieve. This is an original review of international expert attitudes on local renewable energy autonomy, conducted in 2011 and 2012 among 77 local energy experts. WIREs Energy Environ 2015, 4:397–405. doi: 10.1002/wene.152 This article is categorized under: Energy and Climate > Economics and Policy Energy Policy and Planning > Economics and Policy Energy and Development > Economics and Policy
Number of responses to the question: Can energy autonomy be pursued without significant change to the local government structure?
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Expert perception of three organizational options for local government.
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Expert perception of five measures to achieve renewable energy autonomy.
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Energy and Development > Economics and Policy
Energy Policy and Planning > Economics and Policy
Energy and Climate > Economics and Policy

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