What we do
Europe’s energy market is undergoing a fundamental transition from a system based on fossil fuels and nuclear power towards one based entirely on renewable energy.
It is also transforming from a centralised market dominated by large utilities to a decentralised market with millions of active energy citizens or “prosumers”. Without prosumers, the energy transition is not possible. Empowering citizens to produce and consume their own energy is about democratising the energy system.
However, prosumers still face significant legal obstacles throughout the European Union including explicit legal restrictions, disproportionate administrative and planning procedures and punitive tariffs. With the right EU legal framework, prosumers could flourish and deliver a significant share of Europe’s renewable energy and provide important flexibility to the energy system through demand response. Already today, prosumers such as communities and cooperatives have transformed the energy market in many European countries while contributing significantly to revitalising the local economy and creating local jobs. Prosumers deliver a significant share of renewables investment and promote their local development and public support. In Germany for example, renewables deliver a third of Germany’s electricity and nearly every second kilowatt-hour (kWh) of this renewable electricity is generated by a broad range of prosumers.
This energy transition will require a considerable investment that will be paid for by citizens: as consumers, as tax payers or as money savers. Citizens therefore should be at the heart of this energy transition. They should have control of their energy production, transportation, distribution and their energy supply. REScoop.eu strongly believes that renewable energy cooperatives are ideal partners to lead the energy transition to energy democracy.
REScoop.eu supports the energy transition to a decentralized, renewable, efficient, clean and sustainable energy system with citizens at its core. We refer to the energy transition as “the energy transition to energy democracy.” We believe that REScoops are the most appropriate business model to keep this transition fair and affordable for citizens, and to make sure no one is left behind. REScoop.eu follows up on relevant policy issues and organizes regular meetings with European policy makers.
Our policy priorities
As a federation representing REScoops working on renewables, energy efficiency, and other emerging technologies across the EU, our goal is to bring about a European energy market in which:
The benefits that energy communities provide
Because of REScoops’ aims to include and empower all citizens to participate, and their concern for the well-being of the local community, they provide a number of benefits to society, the consumer, the environment, and the energy system as a whole.
As Europe is working on a new energy market design, REScoop.eu has developed a number of key points for how REScoops need to be acknowledged in any future legislative and regulatory frameworks:
Active customers, referred to generically as ‘energy prosumers’, are individual citizens, households, non-commercial organisations, public entities and SME’s that not only consume energy, but also actively participate in the energy market, either individually or collectively, including through an ‘energy community’. Active participation in the market may consist in producing renewable energy, enhancing energy efficiency and/or energy system management and grid integration of fluctuating renewable energy sources through demand side response, aggregation, storage, etc. REScoop.eu believes that active customers should get easy access to the grid and to energy markets at fair conditions. In addition, we argue that EU Member States should endorse the participation of active customers in various markets (adapted grid tariffs, fiscal reduction, ...).
Self-consumption is the act for prosumers to consume all or part of the energy produced by installation(s) they own individually or through an energy community. REScoop.eu argues that Europe should promote the right to self-consumption for both tenants and owners of private houses. We argue that Europe should allow citizens, including through an energy company, to establish closed distribution networks that are currently provided for under Article 28 of Directive 2009/72/EC. REScoop.eu believes that EU Member States should ensure fair valuation, as well as a fair price and market access for surplus of energy that is injected into the grid, and that energy prices should be directly linked to energy consumption consumed (variable cost), rather than to the capacity installed (fixed costs) because it encourages energy efficiency.
An Energy Community is a legal entity where citizens, SMEs and local authorities come together, as final users of energy, to cooperate in the generation, consumption distribution, storage, supply, aggregation of energy from renewable sources, or offer energy efficiency/demand side management services. REScoop.eu argues that Europe should recognise that energy communities contribute to social innovation and regional development objectives, as defined by the Commission. The definition of an energy community should be framed concretely around governing statutes of entities that integrate the following operative principles that distinguish them from traditional commercial energy undertakings:
A level playing field for energy communities and active customers
We also advocate for a transformation away from existing regulations, rules and policies, which have been designed for a centralized energy system and large energy companies that provide polluting fossil fuels and other inflexible baseload. At the core of this shift towards a more decentralized energy model, we advocate for: