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Article

Empowering Vulnerable Consumers to Join Renewable Energy Communities—Towards an Inclusive Design of the Clean Energy Package

Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, European University Viadrina, 15230 Frankfurt, Germany
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Energies 2020, 13(7), 1615; https://doi.org/10.3390/en13071615
Received: 15 February 2020 / Revised: 21 March 2020 / Accepted: 25 March 2020 / Published: 2 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Pathways for Community Energy and Storage)
The unequal distribution of costs and benefits of the energy transition is a challenge for energy justice and energy policy. Although the empowerment of consumers to participate in renewable energy communities (RECs) has great potential for a just energy transition, vulnerable consumers remain underrepresented in RE projects. The recast of the European renewable energy directive obliges the European Member States to facilitate the participation of vulnerable consumers and support their inclusion in its “enabling framework” for prosumership. However, the type and specific design of corresponding measures remains unclear. Against this background this article investigates consumer empowerment in a vulnerability context. In particular we stress the need to understand how vulnerability affects participation in RECs to inform both policy makers and practitioners on its specificities and restrictions for the “enabling framework”. To prevent the inclusion of vulnerable consumers in RECs from remaining an idea on paper lawmakers need to be made aware of the implications for a consistent “enabling framework”. We argue that both individual vulnerable consumers as well as RECs need incentives and support to boost RECs’ capacity to include groups that until now remain underrepresented. View Full-Text
Keywords: renewable energy community; vulnerable consumer; consumer empowerment; energy transition; energy justice; Clean Energy Package renewable energy community; vulnerable consumer; consumer empowerment; energy transition; energy justice; Clean Energy Package
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hanke, F.; Lowitzsch, J. Empowering Vulnerable Consumers to Join Renewable Energy Communities—Towards an Inclusive Design of the Clean Energy Package. Energies 2020, 13, 1615. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13071615

AMA Style

Hanke F, Lowitzsch J. Empowering Vulnerable Consumers to Join Renewable Energy Communities—Towards an Inclusive Design of the Clean Energy Package. Energies. 2020; 13(7):1615. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13071615

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hanke, Florian, and Jens Lowitzsch. 2020. "Empowering Vulnerable Consumers to Join Renewable Energy Communities—Towards an Inclusive Design of the Clean Energy Package" Energies 13, no. 7: 1615. https://doi.org/10.3390/en13071615

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