Pathways to energy autonomy – challenges and opportunities


The need to reduce carbon emissions calls for more use of renewable generation, particularly distributed resources. The intermittency of renewable generation, and concerns about energy security, require us to become more independent of central grid operation by use of local or regional (micro-grid) electricity systems. Distributed generation, allied to the commercial availability of battery storage products, permits this–the pathway to energy autonomy. This paper reviews the contribution of different renewable energy sources (RES), trends in energy storage technologies to enable energy autonomy, and the centralised and decentralised techniques that coordinate the associated energy management. The paper covers energy autonomy at different scales, ranging from household levels to district levels. The improvements in grid independency are measured accordingly. There is discussion of this measurement and of the economic and ecological benefits from energy autonomy in the context of policy frameworks.

Reference Bentley, E., Kotter, R., Wang, Y., Das, R., Putrus, G., Van Der Hoogt, J., Van Bergen, E., Warmerdam, J., Heller, R., & Jablonska, B. (2019). Pathways to energy autonomy – challenges and opportunities. International Journal of Environmental Studies, 76(6), 893–921.
Published by  Kenniscentrum Techniek 1 January 2019

Publication date

Jan 2019


Edward Bentley
Richard Kotter
Yue Wang
Ridoy Das
Ghanim Putrus
Jorden Van Der Hoogt
Esther Van Bergen
Bronia Jablonska


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