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Warneryd, M. & Karltorp, K. (2020). The role of values for niche expansion: the case of solar photovoltaics on large buildings in Sweden. Energy, Sustainability and Society, 10(7)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The role of values for niche expansion: the case of solar photovoltaics on large buildings in Sweden
2020 (English)In: Energy, Sustainability and Society, ISSN 2192-0567, Vol. 10, no 7Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


Solar photovoltaic (PV) plants can contribute to the transformation of the electricity system in Sweden not only by adding capacity, but also by forming new decentralized ownership structures and involving new actors. This article focuses on solar PV plants on larger buildings, which represent a significant share of the installed capacity (although the total capacity is still very low in Sweden) and which have a good future potential. We are interested in the reasons owners of large buildings have for investing in solar PV plants, despite the fact that they face a complex regulatory situation. The aim of this paper is, therefore, to identify added values from solar PV plants for large buildings and to see how these values contribute to the ongoing expansion of the solar PV niche in Sweden. We use sustainability transitions as the theoretical point of departure and focus particularly on the role of values in an expanding niche. Data was collected via 15 semi-structured interviews, mainly with large building owners. It provides an interesting empirical case of the pioneers within the actor group of large building owners who potentially can play an important role in the expansion of solar PV technology in Sweden. Theoretically, the article contributes to the sustainable transition research field by demonstrating how values are developed and affect the niche-regime interplay.


The findings demonstrate that owning a solar PV plant adds values such as sustainability, fair cost, and induced innovativeness. These values have an effect on niche expansion by contributing for example to the development of a social network, new role development, positive niche narrative, and niche empowerment.


We conclude that the broad set of values added by solar PV plants on large buildings increases the desire and enhances the positive experience to take on a new role development. Furthermore, we conclude that added values contribute to developing a social identity which is important when expanding the social network around the niche. Finally, we conclude that added values shape the positive niche narrative among niche advocates and give direction for policy development related to the niche.

National Category
Energy Systems Civil Engineering
Research subject
Energy and Built Environments
urn:nbn:se:du-31847 (URN)10.1186/s13705-020-0239-7 (DOI)000511922500001 ()2-s2.0-85081112052 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2020-02-06 Created: 2020-02-06 Last updated: 2020-03-23Bibliographically approved
Warneryd, M., Håkansson, M. & Karltorp, K. (2020). Unpacking the complexity of community microgrids: A review of institutions’ roles for development of microgrids. Renewable & sustainable energy reviews, 121, Article ID 109690.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Unpacking the complexity of community microgrids: A review of institutions’ roles for development of microgrids
2020 (English)In: Renewable & sustainable energy reviews, ISSN 1364-0321, E-ISSN 1879-0690, Vol. 121, article id 109690Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Community microgrids implemented in existing electricity grids can meet both development targets set out in the Paris agreement: 1. mitigate greenhouse gas emissions through increased implementation of renewable energy sources, and 2. to adapt to climate related disturbances and risk of catastrophes. Community microgrids are, however, complex to implement and institutional change is needed to reach their full potential. The purpose of this article is to review existing literature and analyze institutional developments influencing the growth of community microgrids. The literature describes a concentration of microgrid activities in specific regions: USA, EU, Asia and Australia. Varying reasons for implementing community microgrids were found in the different regions but similar institutional developments occurred, albeit with differing emphasis due to contextual specificities. Formal directions do however influence informal institutions even though their aims differ. Power utilities stand out as a critical actor and both formal and informal institutions put pressure on utilities to update their traditional business models. This article illustrates how informal and formal institutions play a significant role in the growth of community microgrids in existing electricity grids and provide interesting examples which can be utilized by policymakers. Microgrid development is still in a formative phase and further institutional change in the form of updated regulations is needed.

National Category
Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Energy and Built Environments
urn:nbn:se:du-31848 (URN)10.1016/j.rser.2019.109690 (DOI)000512410200017 ()
Available from: 2020-02-06 Created: 2020-02-06 Last updated: 2020-03-12Bibliographically approved
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0003-1276-6647

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