Energy communities (ECs) are considered an important element of the current energy transition. Most studies have focused on how to specifically engage citizens in such communities. In this paper, the emphasis is on the objectives of other stakeholders. Only by taking all motivations and interests into account can a successful project be established.

In our study, relevant stakeholders, their objectives for joining an EC and the importance of each of these objectives were determined in a participatory manner through four Flemish pilot cases. The results provide an overview of general and context-specific elements that need to be taken into account when designing an EC as well as when setting up policy initiatives to stimulate large-scale EC roll-out. For potential members, financial incentives are the main drivers of participation but often not the decisive objectives. Their decision to join is influenced by a variable combination of social, economic, technical and environmental motivations. Local governments mainly want an EC to bring social and environmental advantages, and the local distribution system operator (DSO) only supports ECs when they can bring added value to their main grid and society as a whole and can help avoid major grid investments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112808
Number of pages14
JournalEnergy Policy
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Energy communities
  • Stakeholder participationn
  • Stakeholder objectives
  • Case studies
  • Energy community design


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