The Rise of Community Energy from Grassroots to Mainstream: The Role of Law and Policy



Savaresi A (2019) The Rise of Community Energy from Grassroots to Mainstream: The Role of Law and Policy. Journal of Environmental Law, 31 (3), pp. 487-510.

In recent years, national and subnational law-makers and policy-makers have increasingly adopted measures to stimulate decentralised renewable energy generation, turning local and rural communities into prominent actors in the energy transition. The recast of the EU Renewable Energy Directive follows this trend, prompting all EU Member States to adopt measures to spearhead community energy. Yet to date, only a handful of ‘pioneer’ EU Member States – most saliently Denmark, Germany and the UK – have accrued significant experience with the mainstreaming of community energy. This article reflects on the role of law and policy in turning grassroots community action into a mainstream means for renewable energy generation. It unpacks the regulatory questions underlying the notion of community energy embedded in the Renewables Directive, looking at how these have been addressed in pioneer Member States. This analysis aims to deliver greater understanding of community energy, to highlight gaps in our knowledge of it, and ultimately to identify an agenda for further scholarly enquiry.

community energy; renewable energy; energy transition; climate change

Journal of Environmental Law: Volume 31, Issue 3

Publication date30/11/2019
Publication date online04/03/2019
Date accepted by journal25/01/2019

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