Scientific approaches to community energy: a literature review

Tineke van der Schoor, Bert Scholtens

Research output: Working paperAcademic


This is a review of the literature on community energy. We analyze more than 250 studies that appeared in the academic literature in the period 1997-2018. We investigate the timing regarding the appearance of these studies, the geographical orientation of the research, and the journals in which the articles appeared. We also analyse the keywords used to identify the research. Further, we relate the articles to the theoretical perspectives employed. We also analyse keywords used by the authors in relation to the particular approaches employed and reflect on the country specifics of the case studies. We find that the majority of studies on community energy did appear in the last couple of years. Especially the UK, US, Germany and the Netherlands are being investigated. Energy Policy published most of the studies. Different theoretical perspectives study community energy, especially Governance, Sociology, Economics, Planning, Technology, and Transition. We conclude that the study of community energy is still in its infancy as there is little commonality in the terminology and key concepts used. Studying community energy requires further improvement in order to better integrate the different theoretical perspectives and to ground policy decisions.
Translated title of the contributionWetenschappelijke benaderingen van lokale energie: Overzicht van de literatuur
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGroningen
PublisherRijksuniversiteit Groningen
Number of pages106
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2019


  • energy use
  • energy transition

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