Model-based investigation of local co-creation efforts: the case of solar photovoltaics (PV) in Skåne, Sweden
Paper in proceedings, 2018
Co-creation and social innovation are vital aspects of New Public Governance. Yet, co-creation in the local energy transitions sphere have been under-theorized and under-utilized. While empirically similar phenomena such as community energy, community power plants, grass-roots movements etc. exist in literature, the use of co-creation and co-creation efforts in effecting local energy transitions is not present. This paper aims to contribute to the field of energy transitions by integrating a model-based approach with the municipal co-creation efforts in a local energy transition setting. For this, the researchers have carried out a study with municipality officials in the county administrative division of Skåne, Sweden, who are trying to increase the uptake of solar photovoltaics (PV) electricity generation in single or two-family dwellings. For this study, co-creation is defined as the municipal and private actors’ joint efforts to solve common problems through the constructive exchange and application of experience, resource, skills and ideas. The study uses a mixed-methods approach, with both quantitative and qualitative methods underpinning the approach. The quantitative component is a System Dynamics (SD) model built to analyse the feedback loops created by the co-creation efforts of the municipalities in Skåne, Sweden to increase the uptake of household solar photovoltaics. The model is conceptualized and built in coordination with the municipalities, and qualitative validation provided by them. The discussions with the municipality officials is through both informal and formal non-structured interviews. The co-creation actions of the municipality are modelled as feedback loops, including the tax concessions and investment grants which are accorded to the citizens of the county. The preliminary simulation results highlight the importance of co-creation in this local energy transitions case, and elevate the municipal co-creation efforts, especially given the high pay-back times of solar PV in Skåne. At the same time, this study also codifies a methodology to incorporate co-creation into a quantitative local energy transitions model. The novelty of this study lies in expanding the study of co-creation using a model-based theory-building approach.
local energy transitions