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Investigating subnational success conditions to foster renewable energy community co-operatives

Katrin Martens

Energy Policy, 2022, vol. 162, issue C

Abstract: Renewable energy community co-operatives (RECCs) are early adopters of technical knowledge which can foster sustainable energy transition and collective action, create local value, and are seen as relevant for increasing the adoption and achievement of climate-mitigation goals and measures. However, the question of how to successfully foster RECCs and the role of subnational governments in doing so has not been adequately explored. A conceptual framework was developed to address this gap and potential opportunities for renewable energy transition that goes beyond typical policy evaluation strategies and focuses on the interaction between actor level, legitimacy and governance instruments. A qualitative comparative analysis covering all sixteen German federal states was conducted and supplemented by a cartographic evaluation of the founding activities of RECCs between 2007 and 2016. The case of Germany reveals that success conditions for RECCs can also be identified at a subnational level, namely, an interplay of legitimacy and renewable energy policy goals. This study provides new insights into the dynamics and governance of the community energy transition and offers important guidance for countries and subnational governments seeking to push it forward.

Keywords: Cognitive legitimacy; Co-operatives; Fuzzy set; Policy analysis; Qualitative comparative analysis; Renewable energy transition; Rural development; Sustainable innovation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2022.112796

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