Local ownership in transitions towards sustainable energy systems 

Local and citizen ownership is important for the energy transition. In Sweden, there is a need for research on how to improve policies in this area, how to create local ownership, and the effects on the sustainability of energy systems. This project aims to contribute to filling these knowledge and policy gaps. The focus is on the role that local ownership can have in facilitating energy transitions. Additionally, the project explores how such ownership can be facilitated through for instance public participation processes or community energy projects.

About the project

The main objective of the research project is to increase knowledge on the role of local ownership in transitions towards sustainable energy systems. Three research questions will allow us to reach the aim:

  • What are the possibilities, risks and values of different types of local ownership in a sustainable energy transition?
  • How can local ownership be organised to support a sustainable energy transition?
  • What policy recommendations can be made on local, regional and national levels in Sweden to facilitate successful local ownership for a sustainable energy transition?

Local ownership and models do not by default result in positive outcomes, which is why the idea of local ownership as a contributor to energy system change still needs to be further explored.

The objectives of the project

  • to conduct around 5 case studies;
  • facilitate knowledge exchange between key stakeholders in 3 thematic workshops;
  • present results in digital stories for each case study;
  • develop a guide for practitioners on energy transition via local ownership;
  • publish scientific articles to target the scientific audience;
  • develop a policy brief with policy recommendations for policy-makers at local, regional and national level.

The research group

  • Johanna Liljenfeldt, Senior Lecturer at Uppsala University
  • Elin Slätmo, Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio
  • Johannes Lidmo, Research Fellow at Nordregio
  • Louise Ormstrup Vestergård, Research Fellow at Nordregio
  • Elin Cedergren, Research Fellow at Nordregio

The reference group

The research project has a reference group to ensure the relevance and timeliness of the project in the Swedish society. The reference group consists of members who are knowledgeable and engaged in the sustainable energy transition in the Swedish society. The reference group members represent different geographical areas in Sweden, and one from Denmark. It includes actors such as civil society organisations, energy organisations, energy technology experts, and researchers. The members of the reference group are:

  • Jenny Breslin, Hela Sverige Ska Leva
  • Göran Bryntse, SERO – föreningen för förnybar energi och energieffektivisering;
  • Filippa Borgström, Klimatkommunerna;
  • Anna Bäckstäde, Energicentrum Gotland;
  • Karl Sperling, Associate professor vid universitetet i Aalborg;
  • Ewa Engdahl, Coompanion Kalmar och nationell grupp för energifrågor;
  • Louise Sandholm Lindell, Coompanion Blekinge.


Johanna Liljenfeldt, Senior Lecturer at Uppsala University, johanna.liljenfeldt@geo.uu.se

Elin Slätmo, Senior Research Fellow at Nordregio, elin.slatmo@nordregio.org