Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford

Dr Paula Hansen


Research Groups

Dr Paula Hansen

Postdoctoral Researcher in Community Energy


Paula is a postdoctoral researcher on the Horizon2020-funded NEWCOMERS project (New Clean Energy Communities in a changing European Energy System), focusing on the actors, technologies and operation of novel energy community business models across Europe.

Prior to joining the ECI, Paula worked on two solar energy sharing projects in Perth, Western Australia. Run by transdisciplinary consortia, these projects centred around making the benefits of renewable energy more widely accessible by using innovative technologies and governance models. This involved the use of a peer-to-peer platform to trial energy sharing within apartment buildings (White Gum Valley project), as well as across the regulated network in the City of Fremantle (RENeW Nexus project). Based on these projects, Paula's PhD research focused on understanding the complex socio-technical dynamics of shared energy systems in terms of their structure, performance and governance.

Paula's research is based on a socio-technical energy systems approach, and draws on commons governance, collective action theory and agent-based modelling to understand how new and emerging energy systems work.


  • Hansen, P., Barnes, J. and Darby, S.J. (forthcoming) First things first: laying the foundations for smart energy communities by exploring concepts and realities in European case studies. European Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy Summer Study, 7-11 June, 2021.