Community owned energy projects are viewed as compelling contributors towards renewable energy targets. They contribute to curtailing the use of carbon intensive energy sources, consequently aiding mitigation of climate change, and can contribute towards a sustainable, localised economy. The success and expansion of the sector varies. However, there is a lack of knowledge regarding the development of the sector between sub-state nations. This qualitative, comparative study looks at the sector in the sub-state, devolved nations of Wales and Scotland within the UK. Through a series of in-depth interviews with community energy practitioners in four case study sites in Scotland and Wales, this study shows how policy and governance practices can influence the sector and those working at grassroots level. The study shows a disparity in confidence and outlook for the sector, based on the perceived (in)effective governance in each devolved nation.