PhD defence A. (Antonia) Proka


Prof.dr. D.A. Loorbach


Dr. M. Hisschemöller

Friday 5 Mar 2021, 13:00 - 14:30
PhD defence
Senate Hall
Erasmus Building
Campus Woudestein
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On Friday 5 March 2021, A. Proka will defend her PhD dissertation, entitled: ‘Organising for Power Change: Transformative business models for the energy transition’.

Renewable energy initiatives are mushrooming in Europe and beyond, bringing to the fore a wide variety of novel ways of organising in the energy sector. Renewable energy communities, Energy Service Companies, citizen-driven energy cooperatives,  crowdfunding and peer-to-peer platforms, as well as commercial energy project developers all contribute to the ongoing energy transition in their own distinct way.

The question that emerges is whether renewable energy initiatives can transform the energy system as a whole. My research analyses and evaluates the impact of renewable energy initiatives on the energy transition. In that, the issue of organising is central. Technological innovation alone,  without a consideration of who is benefiting and who is being excluded, without a reflection on what is gained and at what cost, may get us to a 100% renewable energy system with intensified biodiversity loss and exacerbated social injustice. With the wish to support the transition to an environmentally sustainable and socially just energy system, the specific overarching research question guiding this thesis has been:

How can we understand the role and impact of renewable energy initiatives in the context of broader systemic changes in the energy domain and how can this impact be increased?

To address this question I developed an analytical framework that combines insights on (sustainability-oriented) business models and sustainability transitions. The Transformative Business Models framework has been introduced as a tool to analyse and reflect upon a renewable energy initiative’s contribution to the energy transition, but also as a device to navigate and strategize for increasing this contribution.

Due to corona, the PhD defences do not take place publicly in the usual way in the Senate Hall or in the Professor Andries Querido Room. The candidates will defend their dissertation either in a small group or online.

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