Energy cooperatives are an important means for the participation of citizens in the energy transition. However, only a certain social group is currently involved in energy cooperatives. Empirical studies indicate that it is mostly older, white men with a high income and good education. We work together with the Berlin energy cooperative BürgerEnergie Berlin which wants to diversify its member base and team. BürgerEnergie Berlin follows two missions:
First of all, they want to repurchase Berlin’s electricity grid, because they feel that this important infrastructure should be in the hands of citizens to accelerate the renewable energy transition. Second, they want local citizens to be able to participate in the renewable energy system and support local renewable projects.
To achieve these goals BürgerEnergie Berlin wants to represent a broad range of society and inform more citizens about the possibilities to engage with them. This also has advantages for the citizens, because they can invest in the success of a local energy transition.
Main objectives and theme
The main objective of the Citizen Action Lab in Berlin is to increase diversity in energy cooperatives. We want to understand what citizens think of energy cooperatives and the work of BürgerEnergie Berlin. Moreover, we want to know about their chances and barriers to engage in BürgerEnergie Berlin.
Finally, we want to test different formats to encourage more diverse participation in the renewable energy system in Berlin and develop recommendations on diversity for energy cooperatives in Germany.
For whom is it relevant – Potential participants
The main target group of the Berlin Citizen Action Lab is people who define themselves as women or non-male. As we are interested in their grasp of energy citizenship. In general, we want to invite all Berlin citizens to work with us on the topic of diversity in a renewable energy system.
Main topics of discussion
During our work with citizens, we plan a series of formats like focus groups, workshops, training and tours.
Co-organizers and other partners
GenderCC and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research