Energy Transition to Energy Democracy

Europe is currently undergoing a significant transition in its energy system. We are shifting from an energy system based on fossil and nuclear fuels to renewable energy, from centralised to decentralised production, and from a system that wastes energy to one that uses energy in a rational and efficient way. This transition will require a considerable investment, which 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 be able to take control of their energy production, transportation, distribution and their energy supply. strongly believes that citizen energy cooperatives are ideal partners to lead the energy transition to energy democracy.

Tailwind for citizen energy

Since the beginning of 2019, the Clean Energy Package for All Europeans gives power to citizens to take ownership of energy transition projects through energy communities. This new EU regulation acknowledge citizens as important actors in the energy market, and outlines governance principles and activities for energy communities. It further asks European countries to actively support the creation of energy communities.

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The energy transition to energy democracy

A level playing field for energy communities

We advocate for a transformation away from outdated regulations, rules and policies that have been designed for a centralized energy system and large energy companies that provide polluting fossil fuels and other inflexible energy baseload. At the core of this shift towards a more decentralized energy model, we advocate for:

  • A special bike lane for energy communities that focus on renewable energy generation so they can access support schemes in accordance with the State Aid Guidelines.
  • Recognition of the need to account for the particularities of energy cooperatives and other smaller actors when it comes to grid access, dispatch, balancing (both responsibility and market access), licensing and registration, and unbundling obligations.
  • Acknowledgment of the benefits that activities of energy cooperatives and citizens bring to the local energy system, society and the environment, as well as proper valuation and remuneration for services provided locally that can displace the need to invest in traditional grid infrastructure.

Community Power Coalition is a partner in the Community Energy Coalition, a diverse network of like-minded organisations who share a common goal of promoting the development of citizen and community ownership in in the urgent transformation towards a 100% renewable energy system.

The Coalition includes associations representing energy cooperatives, networks of cities and local authorities, consumer organisations, the renewable energy industry, legal experts and several environmental NGOs.

In our Vision Statement, the coalition sets out demands for a future energy system for Europe which is sustainable, carbon-free, socially fair, publicly owned and controlled by local communities and people.

Community power coalition statement front

Policy papers follows up on policy issues that are relevant to energy communities and the energy transition as a whole. In our position papers, we target European, national and local policy makers and present our recommendations for supporting the energy transition to a decentralized, renewable, efficient, clean and sustainable energy system, with citizens at its core. We believe that energy cooperatives are the most appropriate business model to keep this transition fair and affordable for citizens, and to make sure that no one is left behind.

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Assessing barriers and potential for developing renewable energy communities - A Model Template

The Model Assessment is meant to be a tool to help national actors – mainly public authorities and civil society organisations – better assess potential for development of Renewable Energy Communities (RECs), as well as barriers that might hinder their growth.

4 elemens of assessment
The Four Elements of the Assessment

Transposition Tracker renewable energy communities

Our transposition tracker assesses the progress of the national transposition of the provisions on definitions for RECs and CECs, as well as enabling frameworks and national support schemes for RECs. These provisions were introduced by the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) and the Internal Electricity Market Directive (IEMD).

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REC and CEC definitions - Updated April 2024

Financing tracker

The EU provisions for renewable energy communities (RECs) specify that Member States shall provide an enabling framework to promote and facilitate the development of RECs, which should include tools to facilitate access to finance, among others.

This financing tracker assesses whether and how EU public funds (Recovery & Resilience, Cohesion, and Modernisation Funds), are being used by Member States to support energy communities.

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Recovery & Resilience Fund - updated on 18/01/2024