This paper reviews academic and grey literature concerning local engagement with energy systems in Europe. Through international comparison, the paper aims to identify factors shaping the form and extent of engagement with energy at local levels in Europe. The paper considers high-level patterns of engagement across European countries by examining the extent to which actors in different countries engage with Europe-wide processes (the Covenant of Mayors and Intelligent Energy Europe). This leads on to discussion of how local energy historically has interacted with broad patterns of central-local government relations. Contemporary issues in European local energy, in a context of “unbundled” energy systems and local governance are then discussed
The review supports the set of factors in the LEUKES proposal identified as relevant to shaping patterns of local engagement with energy. Rather than suggesting new factors, or indicating some factors may not be relevant, the review has helped put some detail behind how each factor may operate in European countries.