Infoscience

Journal article

What drives the development of community energy in Europe? The case of wind power cooperatives

The dominant model of energy infrastructure has historically been conceived in a very centralized fashion, i.e., with hardly any citizen involvement in energy generation. Yet, increasing attention is being paid to the transition process towards a more decentralized configuration. This article examines the factors likely to foster citizen and community participation as regards wind power cooperatives in Denmark, Germany, Belgium and the UK. Using Elinor Ostrom’s Social-Ecological System Framework, the analysis highlights a double-edged phenomenon: prevailing and growing hostility toward cooperatives, on the one hand, and, on the other, strategic reactions to this evolution. What comes out indeed is that, throughout most of these countries, the emergence of some coordinated inter-organizational actions among cooperatives enables them to survive in their critical environment.

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