Edited by Jordi Jaria i Manzano, Nathalie Chalifour and Louis J. Kotzé
Chapter 10: A reflection on some legal aspects of decision control in the energy transition process: a comparison of France and Germany
AbstractThis chapter looks at the meaning of the expression ‘energy transition’, distinguishing between two senses, interpretations or understandings of the expression. The first sense refers to governmental strategies, which aim, among other things, to change the way the energy markets are organized, just as they are currently being reformed in Germany and France. The second meaning, however, refers to a cultural change, where citizens feel themselves responsible for and are willing to have a say in the direction and management of the energy strategy of their local area. This chapter focuses on the latter sense. It looks at the legal channels, which permit local governments and citizens to influence the direction of the local energy policy. This study compares the use of such legal tools in Germany and France in two strategic fields: the networks, which distribute electricity, and the cooperative companies, which produce renewable energy. This reflection is based on the assumption that the achievement of an energy transition is dependent on the participation of every stakeholder, including cities and citizens. Nevertheless, such participation requires not only political reform but on a more practical level it requires either the creation of new procedural laws which permit such participation or that existing procedural laws which permit this participation are respected.
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