Community energy projects combine the need for resilient green solutions with democratic participation: they are a real chance for Europe! With this project, we aim at promoting the implementation of participatory renewables and foster knowledge exchange within cooperatives. We will visit renewable cooperatives throughout Europe, reach out using blogs, videos and newspaper articles, determine their socio-economical impacts using relevant indicators, and make policy proposals at EU level.
Berlin, Bruxelles, Barcelona Several locations in EU
Switching from a fossil fuel-based to a renewable-powered society requires decentralized production units, well-adapted to their environment. To that aim, the involvement of communities in the decision-making process is crucial, but is unfortunately not usually the case: renewable farms are often owned privately and imposed on the population. The challenge is to increase visibility and viability of community energy projects in order to favor their implementation, social acceptance and efficacy.
We aim to build the capacity of renewable cooperatives, especially in their organizational and financial structure. Using interviews and data analyses, we aim to: 1) raise awareness on community energy, 2) estimate their efficiency and socio-economical impacts, 3) provide relevant policy proposals.
In general, the goal is to define a model of energy production that combines the use of renewable sources, democratic participation and community ownership that could be implemented all over Europe.
In the first months of the project, we will contact potential partners already working on renewable cooperatives in order to select relevant indicators. They will help characterize the organizational and financial structure, the social impact, potential barriers and solutions, etc. In a second phase, we will contact and visit renewable cooperatives and run interviews, including filming. The material collected during the visits will be regularly published as blog posts, films and articles. Finally, the data obtained during the interviews will be analyzed using statistical tools in order to provide a comprehensive picture on the socio-economical and environmental impacts of community renewable projects. Outcomes of this ground research will also be used as a basis for policy recommendations.
Multi-media outputs are directed towards the EU citizens, with the aim of encouraging awareness on the importance of community renewable projects. The data and indicators obtained, designed to build capacity, foster knowledge exchange and provide specific information, would be of interest of members of community energy cooperatives. Our proposals would be of interest to local,national and EU policy makers with the aim of creating political contexts that facilitate community renewable projects.
Reframing the production of renewable energy into the commons constitutes an original idea: 1) it is a unique way to answer the double challenge of reaching goals set during COP21 and fostering cross-border participative democracy; 2) it circumvents classical barriers to scale up, such as lack of integration in urban settings, weak financing, regulatory barriers or public opposition; 3) it strengthens civic control over energy as alternative to large, costly and inefficient centralized projects.
Funding requested from Advocate Europe
Travels 10,000 (conferences, visits to projects); Filming, interviews 8,000; Material, office consumables (computer, memory, photos…) 2,000; Salaries 30,000.
Suggestions for cool community renewable projects in Europe to visit!