Energies 2023: Learning from Other Community Renewable Energy Projects: Transnational Transfer of Multi-Functional Energy Gardens from the Netherlands to Germany

Citizen energy in general and renewable energy communities (RECs) in particular are becoming key vehicles for decentralisation, but also for the democratisation of the energy system. These initiatives are now more diverse than ever and are likely to continue to act as incubators for significant projects in the transition to a renewable energy system. Beside the legal, regulatory, and financial challenges, there are several socio-economic and regulatory barriers that hinder the implementation of community energy projects. For this reason, policy learning and the dissemination of good/best practices that are transferable also to other contexts are important. This is an aspect that has not yet attracted much investigation, and only a few studies have explored the importance of transfer activities for the implementation of REC initiatives and their motives. This article aimed to address this knowledge gap by focussing on the transfer processes of best practices initiated in a particular region and discusses how these can be adapted and transferred to other contexts. We analysed the transfer case of a community renewable energy initiative, the multifunctional energy gardens, from the Netherlands to the German federal State of Thuringia, and extracted lessons with an overall validity for the transferability of drivers and success factors. We show how examples from other contexts with similar enabling conditions can represent significant foundations on which to build an effective strategy and what framework conditions are necessary to enhance the uptake of pervasive community energy initiatives in regions with low community energy development.

Publication Date: 06 Apr 2023

Author: Maria Rosaria Di Nucci, Michael Krug, Lukas Schwarz, Vincenzo Gatta (FUB) & Erik Laes (TU/e)