Demonstrating sustainable energy: A review-based model of sustainable energy demonstration projects

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This article develops a model of sustainable energy demonstration projects, based on a review of 229 scientific publications on demonstrations in renewable and sustainable energy. The model addresses the basic organizational characteristics (aim, cooperative form, and physical location) and learning effects (technical, organizational, policy and market learning) of sustainable energy demonstration projects (prototyping, organizing, and market demonstrations). This article concludes that a main effect of the reviewed demonstrations is that these projects enable people to learn to further develop, apply and commercialize sustainable, renewable and clean energy technologies. They provide four specific learning opportunities; they 1) enable scientists and technicians to learn how to technically develop sustainable energy prototypes; 2) facilitate technicians and managers to learn to build an organization that produces these sustainable energy prototypes on a large(r) scale; 3) help public policy officers to learn to develop public policy that stimulates the commercialization process of these sustainable energy prototypes; and 4) support commercial professionals to learn how to bring sustainable energy prototypes to the market.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1349-1362
Number of pages14
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017


  • Demonstration, innovation, learning, prototyping, sustainability, energy


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