New article by SOCENT researcher Thomas Bauwens, accepted for publication in Energy Research and Social Science, now available for download

What drives the development of community energy in Europe? The case of wind power cooperatives”, by SOCENT researcher Thomas Bauwens and by Boris Gotchev and Lars Holstenkamp, is available for download on the SOCENT website. This paper is an author post-print version of a paper accepted for publication in the journal Energy Research & Social Science.


The dominant model of energy infrastructure has historically been conceived in a very centralized fashion, i.e. with hardly any citizen involvement in energy generation. Yet, increasing attention is being paid to the transition process towards a more decentralized configuration. This article examines the factors likely to foster citizen and community participation as regards wind power cooperatives in Denmark, Germany, Belgium and the UK. Using Elinor Ostrom’s Social-Ecological System Framework, the analysis highlights a double-edged phenomenon: prevailing and growing hostility towards cooperatives, on the one hand, and strategic reactions to this evolution, on the other hand. What comes out indeed is that, throughout most of these countries, the emergence of some coordinated inter-organizational actions among cooperatives enables them to survive in their critical environment.