Exploring grassroots renewable energy transitions

Date

2023-01-06

Authors

Codrington, Lia

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Abstract

Replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy is not a simple substitution. Variable renewable energy generators like wind turbines and solar panels must be geographically dispersed, leading to a new, decentralized energy system that requires similarly decentralized governance. However, the local stakeholders needed to run these governance structures are typically excluded from the later stages of the energy modelling process where design decisions are made. This exclusion is more prevalent in Indigenous communities in so-called Canada. The Exploring Grassroots Renewable Energy Transitions (EGRET) platform showcases an alternative energy modelling process with community participation throughout. Created in partnership with Musqueam band's energy specialist, the EGRET platform enables community members to explore renewable energy development options for their local grid through interactive workshops. These workshops are made possible by the platform's accessible user interface and visualization suite as well as the fast run times of the machine learning models that power it. Similar approaches could be applied in other communities to support renewable energy integration from the bottom up.

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Keywords

Decarbonization, variable renewable energy integration, community energy, Indigenous energy, energy system modelling, participatory modelling, machine learning

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