Negotiating energy democracy in practice: governance processes in community energy projects

Bregje Van Veelen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is a growing ‘energy democracy’ (ED) movement which regards the transition to renewable energy as an opportunity for socio-economic transformation, as well as technological innovation. The literature on ED tends to associate greater democratic control of energy systems with increased community control over the means of energy generation and distribution. Nonetheless, this literature often assumes rather than demonstrates that the forms of governance it promotes are more democratic than the status quo. This analysis contributes to the emerging field of ED by assessing the complex and varied ways in which communities in Scotland practise energy governance. By focusing on three key governance processes (decision-making, accountability and dispute resolution), the importance of local contexts for the establishment and negotiation of democratic practices is demonstrated. This local specificity, however, also raises further questions regarding the universal applicability of the ED concept.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
JournalEnvironmental Politics
Early online date18 Jan 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jan 2018


  • community governance
  • Energy democracy
  • energy governance
  • inclusivity
  • Scotland


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