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Open AccessArticle

Statistical Evidence on the Role of Energy Cooperatives for the Energy Transition in European Countries

1
Department of Environmental Sciences, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Postbox 7030, 5020 Bergen, Norway
2
Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Building 426, 2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
3
IEFE, Centre for Research on Energy & Environmental Economics & Policy, Bocconi University, Via Roentgen, 1-20136 Milan, Italy
4
UNESCO Chair, University of Turin, Via Verdi, 8-10124 Turin, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3339; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093339
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 28 August 2018 / Accepted: 14 September 2018 / Published: 18 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Innovations in the Energy Transition)
The share of renewable energy is increasing throughout Europe. Yet, little is known about how much can be attributed to different actors, other than those commercially active. This paper provides empirical evidence of activities by energy cooperatives in the field of renewable energy in four different European countries. It draws from a database consisting of 2671 entries, contrasting results from current literature. We find that energy cooperatives are important enablers of the energy transition. However, their role is shrinking in recent years due to a tightening or removal of supportive schemes. We conclude that it is necessary to develop a systematic accounting system to properly track and make visible the contributions by different actors. In turn, this will help to better model the likely speed of Europe’s energy transition. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy cooperatives; cooperatives; community energy; energy transition; transition; social innovation; local actors; renewable energy; renewable; sustainability energy cooperatives; cooperatives; community energy; energy transition; transition; social innovation; local actors; renewable energy; renewable; sustainability
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Wierling, A.; Schwanitz, V.J.; Zeiß, J.P.; Bout, C.; Candelise, C.; Gilcrease, W.; Gregg, J.S. Statistical Evidence on the Role of Energy Cooperatives for the Energy Transition in European Countries. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3339.

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