Scaling local initiatives, such as energy communities, can have global impact. It can contribute to climate mitigation, for example. But there need to be some mechanisms in place for energy communities to flourish. This is addressed in the article ‘Scaling mechanisms of energy communities: A comparison of 28 initiatives’, which was published in the journal Global Environmental Change.
An analysis by postdoctoral researcher Daniel Petrovics (Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University) and his co-authors Dave Huitema, Mendel Giezen and Barbara Vis, identifies eight necessary (combinations of) conditions to scaling energy communities.
This article explains the mechanisms that need to be in place to scale energy communities. Amongst others, it offers insights on the type of capacity support needed, support structures and the tools needed for connecting communities with each other. These insights will help policy makers to facilitate broader scaling of community initiatives and thereby enable energy communities to flourish as an essential element of the global climate governance system.
Specifically, the authors find that decision makers looking to aid energy communities can:
– Equip individual citizens with leadership capacity,
– Draft rules and allocate responsibilities fit-to-scale and fit-to-purpose,
– Build learning capacity,
– Provide communication capacity support,
– Formalize initiatives aimed at their functioning,
– Create peer-to-peer learning platforms,
– Build the capacity of umbrella organizations, and
– Create platforms and processes for communities to engage with incumbent actors.