Without acceptance, the transformation process of the energy transition cannot be successfully ensured. Maintaining participation and a fair distribution of costs and benefits is a crucial task for the legal framework of the energy transition.
The energy transition itself is a transformation process that affects all parts of society. From the very beginning, it entails considerable changes and creates new opportunities. However, this process is not an easy one, thus needing holistic and well-thought solutions.
Acceptance is needed on a small and large scale, today – and in the future
Without acceptance, politics comes under pressure and often cannot pursue necessary change processes at the pace required. For instance, if there is a lack of general acceptance, conflicts have to be dealt with and decided upon in lengthy court proceedings. These costly procedures prevent investments into renewable energies, energy storage and grids. Lack of acceptance today means that it will hardly be possible to design a future that is worth living in. Therefore, acceptance for the energy transition must be maintained and expanded.
Acceptance as a cross-sectoral task
But how can we create more acceptance, especially for the more difficult aspects of the energy transition? Acceptance cannot be decreed by law but must be considered and organised in the legal design of the energy transition. This is exactly what the Stiftung Umweltenergierecht is eagerly working on: How can we empower citizens and communities? Which existing regulations need to be changed and which new regulations need to be created for people to benefit from the opportunities of the energy transition? Will this be achieved through economic participation or a change in consumer behaviour? Directly as shareholders in operating companies and cooperatives, as prosumers, as owners or tenants, or as residents of a committed community through financial participation? Fundamental questions about the legal structure of the energy transition must thus also be linked to the question of fair burden-sharing and financing.
Jointly creating and maintaining acceptance
As lawyers, we are trained to deal with conflicts. However, acceptance is more than the absence of legal disputes. Together with our research partners and supporters, we identify the laws and regulations that are central to the acceptance of the energy transition and design practical solutions to put them into practice.