Centralisation and decentralisation in strategic municipal energy planning in Denmark

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Denmark’s future energy system is to be entirely based on renewable energy sources. Municipalities will play an important role as local energy planning authorities in terms of adopting and refining this vision in different local contexts. Based on a review of 11 municipal energy plans, this paper examines to what extent municipal energy planning matches national 100% renewable energy strategies. The results indicate a willingness among Danish municipalities to actively carry out energy planning, and the plans reveal a large diversity of (new) activities. At the same time, however, there is a strong need for better coordination of municipal energy planning activities at the central level. It is suggested that the role of municipalities as energy planning authorities needs to be outlined more clearly in, e.g., strategic energy planning which integrates savings, efficiency and renewable energy in all (energy) sectors. This requires the state to provide municipalities with the necessary planning instruments and establish a corresponding planning framework. Consequently, there is a need for a simultaneous centralisation and decentralisation during the implementation of the 100% renewable energy vision. The paper outlines a basic division of tasks between the central and the local level within such a strategic energy planning system.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy Policy
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1338-1351
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


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