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Mays profil

Mine Islar

Senior Lecturer, Docent, Director of PhD Studies

Mays profil

Safe havens for energy democracy? Analysing the low-carbon transitions of Danish energy islands


  • Henner Busch
  • Jörg Radtke
  • Mine Islar

Summary, in English

Denmark has long been known as a pioneer in renewable energy technology development. Apart from technological leadership, Denmark has also been the home to many community-based renewable energy initiatives. Citizen involvement in local energy projects has been key to increasing and maintaining acceptance to wind, solar and biomass. Three Danish islands (Bornholm, Samsø and Ærø) have been particularly active in promoting renewables. All three have claimed the title “energy island” and two of them have established specific institutions to promote further RE projects. In this article, we investigate community energy projects on two of the islands (Samsø and Ærø) through an Energy Democracy lens. The purpose of this investigation is to understand how the development on these islands relate to the concept of Energy Democracy: we outline how democratic processes and institutions shape the development of the local infrastructure and how this development, in turn, shaped local democracy. We found that many of the features of Energy Democracy were present in the two cases. Our research highlights a number of shortcomings of the concept of energy democracy, most importantly, a certain disregard for questions of energy justice and a blindness towards questions of scale.


  • LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)

Publishing year





Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft

Document type

Journal article




  • Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)


  • Energy democracy
  • Community energy
  • Denmark
  • Renewable energy
  • Energy justice
  • Energy islands




  • Of People, PV, Power Lines: Energy Islands in the Nordics


  • ISSN: 1430-6387