Market failures and public ownership options in the European municipal energy transition

There is a paradox at the heart of Europe’s ambition to achieve a municipal energy transition. On the one hand, there is recognition of the importance of municipal and community action to tackle climate change. It is widely recognised that the local level – the scale of everyday life – is a critical policy space for developing strategies for achieving an energy transition. From our work on the MPOWER project, however, it is evident that while municipalities are keen to set ambitious targets and goals, without supportive infrastructure and policies at national and European levels that are not driven by marketisation imperatives, they will struggle.

European Cities in the Energy Transition: A Preliminary Analysis of 27 Cities

It is estimated that cities are responsible for 70% of global CO2 emissions. Thus, they have a large responsibility to react to the climate crisis by adapting their energy systems. Where do European municipalities stand with regards to the energy transition? What are the difficulties they face? This study sets out to answer these questions by surveying 27 diverse cities―from Mizil, Romania to Barcelona, Spain―that participated in the mPower Exchange project. This study them draws conclusions, assessing what has to be done in order to enable a democratic energy transition.