Community Energy Spring Gathering: Back to the roots of (energy) democracy
21/02/2023 - REScoop.eu, the European federation of citizen energy cooperatives and its member Electra Energy Cooperative are organising a pan-European gathering of energy communities.
Today, we are living through a crisis with many faces: democratic backsliding, inflation, the energy price crisis and increasing levels of energy poverty with millions of people that cannot keep their homes warm this winter. This social and economic crisis as well as the escalating climate crisis are converging and delegitimizing the illusion of "stability" and "security" of a centralised fossil fuel-based energy system. At the opposite end of this obsolete system, there is a decentralised 100% renewable and just energy landscape driven by people and their communities. All over Europe, citizens, SMEs, local authorities and other civil society actors come together in “energy communities” to ensure locally anchored ownership of renewable energy production facilities. They co-invest in clean energy projects, thus collectively producing their own energy.
Driven by insecurity of our energy supply, many leaders - in and outside of Europe - finally understand the need for a radical shift from the fossil fuel status quo to renewable energy. But if this shift mirrors past injustices (unfettered capital accumulation, monopolies, social exclusion and degradation of sensitive ecosystems), its positive impact may be dramatically reduced.
On 8-10 May in Athens, The European Federation of Energy Cooperatives ‘REScoop.eu’ and its member Electra Energy Cooperative are organising a pan-European gathering of energy communities. How can citizens produce their own energy collectively? How can energy communities promote gender equality and fight energy poverty? These are some of the many topics that the three-day academy will cover, through a programme tailored to different levels of expertise and capabilities.
REScoop.eu currently represents over 1900 energy cooperatives and 1,250,000 European citizens, demonstrating that Europe's citizens are ready to "take energy into their own hands". These millions of European citizens, organised in thousands of cooperatives are proposing solutions from below and driving a movement that is sweeping across Europe, from Greece to Sweden and from France to Bulgaria, showing how the energy transition can - in fact - be green and fair for all!
Greece, Balkans and South-East Europe
Communications Manager, Electra Energy Cooperative
Communications Manager, REScoop.eu