Like many other sectors, climate change strategies have put various restrictions on industry, the most prominent one being caps on CO2 and other energy-related emissions. At the same time, and especially in many developing economies, the industry struggles with an increasing gap between the fast development of the sector and lagging energy supply capacity. Collective generation of renewable energy is seen as a promising means of transition, next to other forms of renewable energy generation (centralised, individual). The aim of this research is to investigate factors influencing willingness to participate in Industrial Community Energy Systems (InCES). Using existing literature on Industrial Symbiosis and Community Energy Systems, we formulate plausible hypotheses on the most relevant factors for the willingness of industries to join such initiatives. As one of the largest and most diversified industrial clusters in Iran, Arak industrial park is selected as the case study. Data were collected from the CEOs of 96 companies through survey research. Our results highlight the crucial role of awareness about the benefits of renewable power generation in an InCES. Social identity among industries and trust between them are also determining factors for their willingness to join InCES. Finally, proper institutional design for overcoming the partnership complexities (e.g., conflict resolution) was highlighted as a crucial factor for industries. It can be concluded from the results of this study that policymakers should avoid one-size-fits-all incentive design approaches and reach out to larger companies with targeted incentives, introduce specially designed bank loans for different target groups, and make use of consulting companies as intermediaries to increase the awareness of the industries regarding the benefits of investing in an InCES.
- community energy systems
- energy transition
- industrial collaboration
- industrial community energy system