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Boosted by impressive technological innovation and cost reductions, renewable energy in a growing number of countries is now primarily considered for its social and economic benefits. Among these benefits are opportunities for local value creation, energy independence, and reducing conflicts over scarce water, which are aggravated by fossil power generation. Allowing for distributed electricity generation, the rapidly expanding renewable energy world is opening up business models for many, including local communities, citizens, and citizens’ cooperatives. Experiences from Germany as well as other countries show how domestic energy policy can shape the enabling environment to seizing the social benefits of renewable energy.
Dr. Sebastian Helgenberger leads the “Multiple Benefits of Renewables” project at IASS Potsdam. Building on experiences with Germany’s Energiewende (transition towards renewable energies) Sebastian and his team in their research activities and international science-policy dialogues are putting particular emphasis on the social and economic benefits of renewable energies as drivers of accelerated transitions towards sustainable energy for all.
Northern Virginia Regional Commission
3040 Williams Drive, #200
Fairfax VA 22031