The Rise of Community Energy from Grassroots to Mainstream: The Role of Law and Policy

Journal of Environmental Law, Forthcoming

31 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2017 Last revised: 8 Feb 2019

See all articles by Annalisa Savaresi

Annalisa Savaresi

University Stirling, School of Law

Date Written: August 13, 2018


In recent years, national and subnational law- and policy-makers have adopted measures to stimulate decentralised renewable energy generation, turning communities into prominent actors in the energy transition. The recast of the EU Renewable Energy Directive follows this trend, prompting all EU Member States to adopt measures to spearhead community energy. Yet to date, only a handful of ‘pioneer’ EU Member States – most saliently Denmark, Germany and the UK – have accrued significant experience with the mainstreaming of community energy. This article reflects on the role of law and policy in turning grassroots community action into a mainstream means for renewable energy generation. It unpacks the regulatory questions underlying the notion of community energy, looking at how these have been addressed in pioneer Member States. This analysis aims to deliver greater understanding of community energy, to highlight gaps in our knowledge of it, and to identify an agenda for further enquiry.

Keywords: community energy, renewable energy, energy transition, climate change

JEL Classification: K32

Suggested Citation

Savaresi, Annalisa, The Rise of Community Energy from Grassroots to Mainstream: The Role of Law and Policy (August 13, 2018). Journal of Environmental Law, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

Annalisa Savaresi (Contact Author)

University Stirling, School of Law ( email )

B12A Pathfoot Building
Stirling, Scotland FK9 4LA
United Kingdom


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