New energy alliances; Exploring the partnerships between local energy cooperatives and energy companies in the Netherlands

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he Dutch energy market is changing quickly. Citizens increasingly take a more active role, causing interesting shifts in the roles and responsibilities of all actors in the energy market. Some citizens have even started to organise themselves in ‘energy cooperatives’, producing renewable electricity and in some cases even delivering it to consumers themselves. Cooperatives in this respect might play a potential key role in bringing about an energy transition in the Netherlands. In developing their projects, cooperatives however face several important challenges and incentives. To address these, cooperatives increasingly cooperate with energy companies, creating ´new energy alliances´ in the energy market. At first sight, this might seem remarkable as cooperatives and energy companies can be regarded as rivals, both producing and supplying electricity. Taking a closer look however reveals that partnering with an energy company offers important benefits for a cooperative. The partnerships for example provide cooperatives with the knowledge, expertise and finances needed to develop projects. The partnerships between cooperatives and energy companies can in this way have an important beneficial influence on the development of cooperatives in the Netherlands, enhancing their contribution to an energy transition in the Netherlands.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen