Scaling mechanisms of energy communities: A comparison of 28 initiatives

Daniel Petrovics*, Dave Huitema, Mendel Giezen, Barbara Vis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Energy communities have mushroomed over the past decades. These initiatives have scaled, that is replicated their experiences, expanded membership, and diversified involved actors and technologies. The picture existing literature paints is hopeful that the scaling of local-scale action may translate into global-scale impact and thus effectively contribute to combating climate change. However, important gaps remain in understanding the (combinations of) conditions which are necessary for scaling with this goal in mind. This article pushes the boundaries of knowledge further by examining and comparing 28 energy communities through a fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and by identifying the necessary conditions of actionable scaling mechanisms. Our analysis identifies a high number (8) of necessary (combinations of) conditions for scaling. Addressing a strong need amongst policy makers to facilitate broader scaling of community initiatives, this article offers concrete insights on mechanisms that need to be in place to scale energy communities. Insights are developed on – for example – the type of capacity support needed, support structures and the tools needed for connecting communities with each other. These insights help corroborate empirically, for the first time the crucial leverage points that will support strategies for upscaling the impact of energy communities, and will enable them to flourish as an essential element of the global climate governance system.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102780
JournalGlobal Environmental Change
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024


  • Energy communities
  • Governance
  • Necessity
  • Scaling mechanisms
  • Upscaling


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