Local ownership models have proven to be an important way to avoid local resistance to onshore wind turbines. As wind power expands into onshore and nearshore wind farms, such ownership models become of increasing importance, while also undergoing further development. This paper uses the Choice Awareness theory to examine some of the barriers connected to the implementation of these new ownership models and presents recommendations to overcome such barriers. Choice Awareness addresses societal aspects (discourse, socioeconomics, and public regulation) mainly related to implementing alternatives to existing technologies. For the theory to be able to embrace the complexity of the transition of the energy system more holistically, we explore and specify the organizational dimension of choice-eliminating mechanisms. Based on the case of an NGO’s attempt to bid for a tender for nearshore wind turbines, it is shown how the central administration prevents new innovative ownership models from entering the tender. A strong path dependency has led to a conscious or unconscious elimination of projects based on organizational structures that do not fit the definition of large energy companies. As a result of this, the paper makes three recommendations for policy changes with the aim to secure equal possibilities for actors involved in nearshore wind power tenders.
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