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Drivers and barriers for municipal retrofitting activities – Evidence from a large-scale survey of German local authorities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-108
Number of pages10
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Early online date8 Mar 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 15 Feb 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 8 Mar 2018
DatePublished (current) - 1 May 2018


Local authorities are key actors for implementing innovative energy efficiency technologies (retrofitting) to reduce end-use energy demand and consequently reduce negative effects of high energy use such as climate change and public budget deficits. This paper reports the results of a large-scale survey of German municipalities by assessing drivers and barriers for deploying LED street lighting as an example of innovative retrofits. The results indicate that competencies and capacities, transparency of the underlying technology base, and a clear proposition of savings are crucial drivers for municipal retrofitting engagement. Most significant barriers include lack of experience, the tendency to wait for future improvements of innovative energy efficiency technologies, and existing contracts with energy suppliers, manufacturers, or other conventional retrofitting contractors. Investments in municipal competency building (both regarding technologies and procurement) as well as diffusing standard tendering criteria and (public) monitoring of their effectiveness are highly recommended to accelerate the municipal modernization process.

    Research areas

  • Energy efficiency, LED, Lighting, Local authorities, Retrofitting

    Structured keywords

  • Global Political Economy
  • Smart Networks for Sustainable Futures
  • Urban Research Cluster

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    Licence: CC BY


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