Community energy: entanglements of community, state and private sector

E Creamer, W Eadson, B van Veelen, A Pinker, M Tingey, T Braunholtz-Speight, M Markantoni, M Foden, M Lacey-Barnacle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Citations (Scopus)
36 Downloads (Pure)


The decarbonisation of energy systems is leading to a reconfiguration of the geographies of energy. One example is the emergence of community energy, which has become a popular object of study for geographers. Although widely acknowledged to be a contested, capacious and flexible term, ‘community energy’ is commonly presented as singular, bounded and localised. In this paper, we challenge this conception of community energy by considering evidence about the role and influence of three categories of actors: community; state; and private sector. We demonstrate how community energy projects are unavoidably entangled with a diversity of actors and institutions operating at and across multiple scales. We therefore argue that community energy is enabled and constituted by trans-scalar assemblages of overlapping actors, which demands multi-sectoral participation and coordination. We point to the need for further academic attention on the boundaries between these actors to better understand the role of different intermediary practices and relationships in facilitating the development of decentralised energy systems with just outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12378
Number of pages16
JournalGeography Compass
Issue number7
Early online date28 Jun 2018
Publication statusFirst published - 28 Jun 2018

Bibliographical note



  • Community energy
  • Decentralised energy
  • Energy geographies
  • Energy governance
  • Energy transition


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