1st Edition

Local Energy Communities Emergence, Places, Organizations, Decision Tools

Edited By Gilles Debizet, Marta Pappalardo, Frédéric Wurtz Copyright 2023
    376 Pages 42 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book draws on social science analysis to understand the ongoing dynamics within and surrounding local energy communities in reliably electrified countries: Belgium, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, India, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

    It offers a comprehensive overview of recent results and thus outlines a diversity of drivers and levers for scaling up energy communities or, at least, local energy sharing. Analysing the main types of energy communities such as collective self-consumption, citizen cooperatives and peer-to-peer digital platforms, the book does not only raise new questions for social scientists, but also offers a comprehensive overview for all those contributing to the circular economy and the decentralization of energy production in inhabited areas where energy consumption is concentrated. This book provides input for the ongoing debates in many European countries implementing the national law on the European directives for energy communities. Furthermore, without evading the antagonism between cooperative and market approaches, or the contradictions between different issues, the book outlines the innovative decision-making tools that can facilitate the development of local energy production and sharing systems.

    As well as being of interest to postgraduates and researchers in the field of energy studies, this book will be vital to energy professionals looking to support local energy communities’ decision-making and design, who wish to consider sociological, organizational and territorial dimensions.

    Table of contents


    List of chapter contributors


    Origin of the book

    Framework of the book



    Social sciences introduction. Local energy communities: state of the art and chapters cross-sectional analysis

    Gilles Debizet and Marta Pappalardo

    Engineering sciences introduction. Local Energy Communities: transversal reading

    Frédéric Wurtz

    Section A) Motivations and internal/local dynamics of energy sharing communities

    A.1) Inhabitants’ activities and needs relative to renewable energy pooling and sharing: a prospective scenario approach

    Antoine Martin, Marie-France Agnoletti and Eric Brangier

    A.2) Shared geothermal energy projects in Montreal: the importance of pre-existing collective action spaces

    Myriam Proulx and Sophie Van Neste

    A.3) Energy communities and commons: rethinking collective action through inhabited spaces

    Marta Pappalardo

    A.4) Anticipating energy communities in urban projects: challenges and limits

    Inès Ramirez-Cobo, Gilles Debizet and Silvère Tribout

    Section B) Collective self-consumption: regulatory framework set-up and controversies

    B.1) Regulatory framework of collective self-consumption operations: comparative study France, Spain, Germany

    Blanche Lormeteau

    B.2) The controversial emergence of collective self-consumption in France

    Thibaut Fonteneau

    Section C) Citizen cooperatives: inter-scalar idealizing, learning and structuring for scaling up

    C.1) Trajectories of renewable energy communities: between democratic processes and economic constraints

    Armelle Gomez, Benjamin Tyl, and Aude Pottier

    C.2) Emergence and transformation of Enercoop: The French network of electricity supply cooperatives as a new social economy initiative

    Rémi Maître

    C.3) Cooperation within and the institutionalization of participatory renewable energy projects in France: a focus on co-developed citizen, public and private partnership projects

    Amélie Artis, Justine Ballon, Dorian Litvine, Émilie Dias and Sylvie Blangy

    Section D) Digital services for peer-to-peer communities: regulatory framework and market

    D.1) Emerging digital business models for energy communities: Enablers for citizen participation in the energy transition? – Perspectives from Germany

    Christine Dede and Monika Heyder

    D.2) Digital technologies for consumer-centred energy markets: opportunities and risks of an energy internet.

    Hugo Schönbeck, Anna Gorbacheva and Alexandra Schneiders

    D.3) Digital Energy Trading Platforms: An Economic Analysis

    Thomas Cortade and Jean-Christophe Poudou

    Section E) Design energy projects for multi-stakeholders’ communities: decision-support tools

    E.1) Proposal to take into account stakeholders’ motivations in models of optimization decision support tools

    Lou Morriet, Frédéric Wurtz and Gilles Debizet

    E.2) Decision support for technical design of on-the-spot renewable energy projects involving several stakeholders

    Jaume Fitó, Sacha Hodencq, Lou Morriet, Julien Ramousse, Frédéric Wurtz and Gilles DebizetIndex 



    Gilles Debizet is an Associate Professor of Urban Planning at Université Grenoble Alpes and a researcher at the Pacte Social Sciences Laboratory since 2006. His research focuses on the integration of climate issues in the making of the contemporary city. He was/is a member of scientific committees (Université Grenoble Alpes, Agence Nationale de la Recherche, Réseau RAMAU). He has co-lead the Eco-SESA Cross-Disciplinary Programme since 2017.

    Marta Pappalardo is an Architect, with a PhD in Urban Planning, currently researcher at the Institute of Urban Planning and Alpine Geography and Pacte Social Sciences Laboratory (Université Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Science Po Grenoble). Her research focuses on the practices of occupation and management of energy-efficient buildings and on the governance of energy communities.

    Frédéric Wurtz is a CNRS senior researcher at Grenoble Electrical Engineering Laboratory (G2ELAB) of Grenoble INP - Université Grenoble Alpes and CNRS. He has developed skills at the interface of engineering and social science in the design of energy systems: typically, cars, flights, smart-buildings and smart-grids, eco-districts, smart districts and smart cities, with a current focus on micro-grids and local energy communities.