Actors and agency in district heating: Engaging with middle actor perspectives through future workshops

Anders Horsbøl*, Pernille Viktoria Kathja Andersen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper focuses on professionals within the district heating sector as drivers of change towards green transition, thereby taking what has been termed a middle out approach. Instead of viewing professionals such as craftsmen or energy consultants as simply implementing political decisions, the middle out approach sees these professionals as having a more substantial influence on energy transition processes. Consequently, more research is needed to uncover the professionals’ perspectives and knowledge as a vital resource in a future green transition. This paper presents future workshops as a method to invite relevant professionals to discuss potentials and challenges of a future district heating system, in particular with regard to the role of buildings. The findings show which forms of agency the professionals ascribe to the different actors in a future intermittent system, how they understand key challenges and problems, and how they envision future communication and cooperation between central actors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102200
JournalEnergy Research & Social Science
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • Middle-out
  • District heating
  • Intermittent energy
  • Future workshops
  • Agency
  • Inter-professional communication
  • DecimalComplex


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