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Facilitating the Energy Transition—The Governance Role of Local Renewable Energy Cooperatives

International Centre for Integrated assessment and Sustainable development (ICIS), P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands
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Energies 2019, 12(21), 4171; https://doi.org/10.3390/en12214171
Received: 30 September 2019 / Revised: 27 October 2019 / Accepted: 31 October 2019 / Published: 1 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Pathways for Community Energy and Storage)
The governance role of local renewable energy cooperatives (LRECs) in facilitating the energy transition remains under-scrutinized in the scholarly literature. Such a gap is puzzling, since LRECs are a manifestation of the current decentralization movement and yield a promising governance contribution to a ‘just energy transition.’ This paper presents a study of the governance roles of LRECs in the province of Limburg, the Netherlands. Building on existing work on the cooperative movement and energy governance, we, first, develop a conceptual framework for our analysis. The framework is built around three key interactions shaping these governance roles, between (1) LRECs and their (potential) members, (2) LRECs and the government and (3) LRECs with other LRECs. The results of an online survey and qualitative interviews with selected cooperatives led to the identification of five key governance roles that these cooperatives take up in the facilitation of the energy transition: (1) mobilizing the public, (2) brokering between government and citizens, (3) providing context specific knowledge and expertise, (4) initiating accepted change and (5) proffering the integration of sustainability. The paper concludes by reflecting on the relevance of our findings in this Dutch case for the broader ‘just transition’ movement. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy transition; local renewable energy cooperatives; governance roles; citizen participation; mixed methods energy transition; local renewable energy cooperatives; governance roles; citizen participation; mixed methods
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wagemans, D.; Scholl, C.; Vasseur, V. Facilitating the Energy Transition—The Governance Role of Local Renewable Energy Cooperatives. Energies 2019, 12, 4171. https://doi.org/10.3390/en12214171

AMA Style

Wagemans D, Scholl C, Vasseur V. Facilitating the Energy Transition—The Governance Role of Local Renewable Energy Cooperatives. Energies. 2019; 12(21):4171. https://doi.org/10.3390/en12214171

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wagemans, Donné, Christian Scholl, and Véronique Vasseur. 2019. "Facilitating the Energy Transition—The Governance Role of Local Renewable Energy Cooperatives" Energies 12, no. 21: 4171. https://doi.org/10.3390/en12214171

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