Chapter 5: Community enterprise: diverse designs for community-owned energy infrastructure
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To realize community economies we need enterprises that are capable of enacting ethics that depart from dominant economic norms. Community enterprises are businesses in which individuals come together as active communities to create an enterprise around a perceived need, issue or opportunity. Like other forms of ethical enterprise, they are motivated by a dual ambition to participate in economic activity while also contributing to social or environmental goals. This chapter explores how two community-owned wind farms have drawn on and fostered a diversity of enterprise design features to realise their ethical visions for democratized energy systems, sustainability and local regeneration. These community enterprises have used different legal structures, modified and supplemented in various ways, in order to manifest community visions. These examples help reveal the opportunities for protecting ethics within community enterprise structures and help us to see beyond the sometimes-stifling boundaries of status quo thinking about existing legal structures.

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