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Is small beautiful? A multicriteria assessment of small-scale energy technology applications in local governments

By J. Burton and K. Hubacek

Abstract

In its 2003 White Paper the UK government set ambitious renewable energy targets. Local governments and households have an increasing role in the overall energy system as consumers, suppliers of smaller-scale applications and citizens discussing energy projects. In this paper, we consider if small-scale or large-scale approaches to renewable energy provision can achieve energy targets in the most socially, economically and environmentally (SEE) effective way. We take a local case study of renewable energy provision in the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees in Yorkshire, UK, and apply a multi-criteria decision analysis methodology to compare the small-scale schemes implemented in Kirklees with large-scale alternatives. The results indicate that small-scale schemes are the most SEE effective, despite large-scale schemes being more financially viable. The selection of the criteria on which the alternatives are assessed and the assigned weights for each criterion are of crucial importance. It is thus very important to include the relevant stakeholders to elicit this information.\u

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd.
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:4805

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