Success, Failure, and Impact of Local Energy Initiatives in The Netherlands

Lynette A. M. H. Germes*, Carina J. Wiekens, Lummina G. Horlings

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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In the last decade, the number of local energy initiatives (LEIs) has increased in western European countries. Although several success factors and barriers in the development of LEIs have been studied by other scholars, there has been limited scholarly interest in the overall impact of LEIs so far. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore their impact by determining their achievement. Additionally, levels of engagement were used to categorise the success factors for and barriers that impede this impact. Initiatives in two provinces in the north of the Netherlands were studied. For the data collection, 84 in-depth interviews were conducted with the initiators of LEIs. In general, it can be concluded that the impact of LEIs is limited. Success factors and barriers in the development of LEIs play out at different levels of engagement: the level of the initiative itself; the community level; and the public–private level. Theoretically, this study provides empirical insights on how to measure the impact of LEIs. Furthermore, the study brings together a variety of factors that influence this impact based on the levels of engagement. Practically, this research offers indications on how to contribute to the further development of LEIs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12482
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 1-Nov-2021


  • Citizen participation
  • Levels of engagement
  • Local energy initiatives
  • Local energy transition
  • Local impact

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