Community Energy Project

For almost ten years, members of the department have been engaged in a research project focused on decentralized systems of electricity production, publishing numerous papers, presented many conference papers, and technical reports during this period.  The past several years have seen a deepening collaboration with colleagues at the University of Minnesota and in the United Kingdom.

The most recent aspect of this research grows out of legislation enacted by the Minnesota State Legislature enabling the creation of solar gardens, a type of shared solar development intermediate between large-field arrays and individual residential or commercial systems.  A long-term research project is underway with partners from the University of Minnesota and a number of state-wide organizations that examines the motivations behind an individual’s inclination to participate in a shared solar project.   The department of Political Science is also sponsoring a March 2014 conference on community solar initiatives.  Other sponsors include the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs), the Minnesota Department of Commerce, the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society, and a number of community and technical colleges involved in the training of industry technicians.

Publications and Presentations:

“Behavior Change, Urban Environments and Community Solar Initiatives.” In preparation.Steven M. Hoffman, Michael Peters, Angela High-Pippert, Shane Fudge, and Peter Sinclair.  In Low Carbon Communities.  Shobhakar Dhakal, editor. London, UK: Future Science Group.

International Approaches to Behaviour Change: the Global Challenge to Encouraging Sustainable Lifestyles. 2014. Shane Fudge, Michael Peters, Steven M. Hoffman and Walter Wehrmeyer, editors. London, UK: Edward Elgar Ltd.

“Institutional and Community-based Initiatives in Energy Planning.” 2014. Steven M. Hoffman and Angela High-Pippert.  In Shane Fudge, Michael Peters, Steven M. Hoffman and Walter Wehrmeyer, editors. International Approaches to Behaviour Change: the Global Challenge to Encouraging Sustainable Lifestyles’. London, UK: Edward Elgar Ltd.

“The Persistent Challenge of Encouraging Public Participation in the Low Carbon Transition.” 2013. Michael Peters, Shane Fudge, and Steven M. Hoffman. Carbon Management. Volume 4, Number 4: 373-375.

“Public Values and Community Energy: Lessons from the US and UK.”  2013. Steven M. Hoffman, Michael Peters, Lissa Pawlisch, Angela High-Pippert, Shane Fudge and Joel Haskard. Sustainability, Special Issue in Energy Policy and Sustainability.  Volume 5: 1747-1763.

“Decentralizing the Electricity System: Public Values and Community Energy.”  2012. Michael Peters, Steven M. Hoffman, Lissa Pawlisch, Angela High-Pippert, Shane Fudge and Joel Haskard. Presented at Creating Public Value in a Multi-Sector, Shared-Power World, sponsored by theUniversity of Minnesota.

“Carbon Management, Local Governance and Community Engagement.” 2012. Michael Peters, Steven M. Hoffman, Shane Fudge and Angela High-Pippert. Carbon Management. Volume 3, Number 4: 357-368.

Greenstep Cities Two Years On: What Have We Learned?  2012. Steven M. Hoffman, Angela High-Pippert and Sarah Steinman. For the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

“From Private Lives to Collective Action: Recruitment and Participation Incentives for a Community Energy Program.” 2010. Steven M. Hoffman and Angela High-Pippert. Energy Policy, Special Section: Carbon Reduction at a Community Scale. Yacob Mulugetta, Tim Jackson, and Dan van der Horst, eds. Volume 38, Issue 12. Pp. 7567-74.

“‘If You Can’t Do It Here’:  Institutional versus Community-based Initiatives in Energy Planning.”  2010. Steven M. Hoffman, Angela High-Pippert and Daniel Carr. Presented at the Midwest Political Science Association.

“‘It Takes Money to Buy Whiskey’: Local Energy Systems and Civic Participation.” 2008. Steven M. Hoffman and Angela High-Pippert. Presented at the Midwest Political Science Association.

“Beyond the Rhetoric: Distributed Technologies and Political Engagement.” 2007. Steven M. Hoffman andAngela High-Pippert. Proceedings of the 7th International Summer Academy on Technology Studies. Transforming the Energy System: The Role of Institutions, Interests & Ideas. The Inter-University Research Centre for Technology, Work and Culture (IFZ). Graz, Austria.

“The Power of Words: The Rhetoric of Community and the Reality of Community Energy.” 2005. Steven M. Hoffman andAngela High-Pippert. Presented at the Australasian Political Science Association.  Dunedin, NZ.

“Community Energy: A Social Architecture for an Alternative Energy Future.” 2005. Steven M. Hoffman and Angela High-Pippert. Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society. Volume 25, Number 5: 387-401.