Statistical evidence for the contribution of citizen-led initiatives and projects to the energy transition in Europe

Sci Rep. 2023 Mar 2;13(1):1342. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-28504-4.


Statistical accounting of the impacts of citizen-led energy initiatives is absent, despite their impact on increased energy self-sufficiency and ramping up of renewable energies, local sustainable development, greater citizen engagement, diversification of activities, social innovation, and acceptance of transition measures. This paper quantifies the aggregate contributions of collective action in pursuit of the sustainable energy transition in Europe. We estimate the number of initiatives (10,540), projects (22,830), people involved (2,010,600), installed renewable capacities (7.2-9.9 GW), and investments made (6.2-11.3 billion EUR) for 30 European countries. Our aggregate estimates do not suggest that collective action will replace commercial enterprises and governmental action in the short or medium term without fundamental alterations to policy and market structures. However, we find strong evidence for the historical, emerging, and actual importance of citizen-led collective action to the European energy transition. Collective action in the energy transition is experimenting successfully with new business models in the energy sector. Continued decentralization of energy systems and more stringent decarbonization policies will increase the importance of these actors in the future.

PMID:36864089 | PMC:PMC9981751 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-023-28504-4


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