Thumbnail copyright: Shane Rounce
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.
Authors: August Wierling, Valeria Jana Schwanitz, Jan Pedro Zeiß, Celine Bout, Chiara Candelise, Winston Gilcrease, Jay Sterling Gregg