Decentralised energy, decentralised accountability? Lessons on how to govern decentralised electricity transitions from multi-level natural resource governance

*Decentralised energy, decentralised accountability? Lessons on how to govern decentralised electricity transitions from multi-level natural resource governance* Marie Claire Brisbois Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), School of Business, Management, and Economics, University of Sussex, United Kingdom 2019
*Abstract* Emerging decentralised electricity systems require new approaches to energy governance. As energy sources shift and technology evolves, electricity governance is shifting from largely centralized models to include multiple decentralised and multi-level sites not bounded in their operations by established democratic processes. New forms of accountability are required to ensure that multi-level electricity systems meet societal needs and expectations. While multi-level governance dynamics are new for many electricity systems, they are common across other resources (e.g. water). This article uses an OECD framework that synthesizes decades of research on multi-level natural resource governance to describe 12 principles for “good” resource governance. These principles are developed and applied to decentralising electricity governance contexts in order to develop mechanisms, and identify potential governance gaps, that are relevant for ensuring accountability in decentralised electricity governance systems. The nature of decentralised electricity systems particularly highlights the need to rescale many governance functions, while paying attention to issues of inclusion, capacity building, coherence, adaptiveness, and transparency. © 2020 The Authors. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of KeAi Communications Co., Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

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