Boris Gotchev

Ph.D. Kandidat
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Miranda Schreurs

Ph.D. Title: Energy Cooperatives as Political Actors in the Transformation of the Energy System

Boris Gotchev is a PhD candidate at the Chair of Environmental and Climate Policy and a research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS). His PhD thesis analyzes Energy Cooperatives as political actors in sustainability-oriented transformations. The empirical focus of the PhD is on the politics and political agency of this specific organizational form in the energy sector. The analysis centers around three case studies of networks between Energy Cooperatives in Germany, Spain and at the EU level. Empirically, the thesis explores political actions of cooperatives. This also contributes to a better understanding of politics and political agency in transformation/sustainability transition debates.

At IASS Boris is involved in a research project that explores the relationship between democracy, transformation and sustainability. In addition to basic research activities, Boris organizes a yearly stakeholder dialogue series on wind power and citizen participation with decision-makers. Before his current position, Boris worked as a consultant for the World Bank Group. He is an active member of BürgerEnergie Berlin eG, a citizen’s cooperative claiming citizen ownership over the city´s distribution grid, co-founded by Arwen Colell. Boris holds a Master degree in political science from the Free University of Berlin.


Gotchev, B. (2018): Beteiligungsmöglichkeiten für Kommunen, Bürgerinnen und Bürger stärken – Einrichtung einer Servicestelle Windenergie im Land Brandenburg. Stellungnahme auf Einladung des Landtages Brandenburg. - IASS Opinion.

Bauwens, T., Gotchev, B., Holstenkamp, L. (2016): What drives the development of community energy in Europe? The case of wind power cooperatives. - Energy Research and Social Science, 13, p. 136-147.DOI:

Dóci, G., Gotchev, B. (2016): When energy policy meets community: Rethinking risk perceptions of renewable energy in Germany and the Netherlands. - Energy Research and Social Science, 22, p. 26-35.DOI:

Gotchev, B. (2016): Bundesländer als Motor einer bürgernahen Energiewende? Stand und Perspektiven wirtschaftlicher Bürgerbeteiligung bei Windenergie an Land. - IASS Working Paper, Dezember 2016. DOI: 

Gotchev, B. (2015): Market Integration and the Development of Wind Power Cooperatives in Denmark – Lessons Learned for Germany. IASS Paper