Energy co-ops “have been an important building block in the energy transition in Germany, although their practical importance is neither quantitatively nor qualitatively reflected in the academic literature,” a research team led by Özgür Yildiz reports in the journal Energy Research & Social Science.
“Cooperatives are not the only relevant business model for financial citizen participation within the energy sector in Germany, but they constitute the organizational form that has become the most relevant regarding active participation in local energy policy,” Yildiz writes. “It has been claimed that they provide the institutional framework to involve citizens with political, social, and financial aspects of renewable energy deployment, thus democratizing the energy sector.”
The paper looks at different opportunities for financial participation in Germany’s Energiewende, or Energy Transition, classifies different types of energy co-ops, and looks at the social structures, organizational factors, and member perceptions that have resulted. (h/t to the Wuppertal Institute for pointing us to this story)