The Clash of the Energy Commons

Björn Hoops*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review


The Energy Commons embody the small-scale generation of renewable energy by groups of citizens. In times of rampant energy poverty, Energy Commons are often seen as a key to an inclusive energy transition that improves the situation of vulnerable households. In practice, however, bans on new members, existing inequalities and segregation as well as high up-front investment requirements systematically disadvantage vulnerable households in accessing the Energy Commons. Article 22(4) of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) requires Member States to ensure the accessibility of renewable energy communities for vulnerable households. The transpositions in the Member States do not provide immediate solace because the Member States count on incentives and the influence of local authorities to open up the Energy Commons to vulnerable households. Can vulnerable households rely upon Commons theory to force open the Energy Commons and get access to affordable energy? Applying the criteria developed by Commons scholars, this contribution argues that vulnerable households should have a claim to access the Energy Commons under certain conditions. Only Energy Commons that have excess energy available for energy sharing can be forced to admit vulnerable households. Also, the Commoners must still be able to make an appropriate return on their investment. Finally, energy must be unaffordable on the market, while the shared energy within the Energy Commons must be cheaper.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)115-122
Aantal pagina's8
TijdschriftEuropean Energy and Environmental Law Review
Nummer van het tijdschrift3
StatusE-pub ahead of print - mrt.-2024

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