Energize Co2mmunity – Implementing renewable community energy
Energize Co2mmunity is a project that pilots community energy projects and fosters transnational exchange on the developed solutions
Energize Co2mmunity builds upon the achievements of the predecessor project Co2mmunity. As a so-called extension stage project, it implements several community energy pilot projects. Thereby, Energize Co2mmunity contributes to increasing the share of renewable energy in the Baltic Sea Region. In the predecessor project, the eight partners set up Rewenable Energy Cooperatives (RENCOPs). Now, they will make use of and advance the work achieved in the RENCOPs. In practical terms, they will implement concrete community energy pilots which have been developed out of the previous project activities but still need facilitation.
What is Community Energy?
Community energy refers to the realisation and co-financing of renewable energy solutions. A core principle is that citizens work together with further stakeholders. This includes, for example, municipalities, energy agencies or experts on the community level. The benefits of community energy are manifold. Firstly, it comes with high social acceptance as it builds upon co-development with citizens. Secondly, community energy creates a regional value. Thirdly, community energy contributes to climate change mitigation.
Transnational learning is a common motif in Interreg. Community energy, as promoted in Energize Co2mmunity, requires close cooperation between partner countries, too. For that purpose, a transnational partner agreement has been signed by all partners in the previous project. The agreement fosters collaboration between partners from different countries. Moreover, it foresees the pairing of frontrunner partners (i.e. partners advanced in terms of community energy) with those who are less advanced. In this process, partners learn from each other through different instruments. To that end, a study visit scheme was introduced, and the partners work with expert consultations and workshops tailored to the needs of their particular community energy undertaking.
At the core of Energize Co2mmunity is the implementation of hands-on community energy solutions. For example, local partners set up photovoltaic panels on private houses and public roofs, establish a municipal wind farm and develop geothermal heating for a residential area. Further, the partners document the experiences from these very undertakings and from the mutual learning process. This documentation promotes the benefits of community energy across Europe and inspires interested citizens and organisations to follow the Energize Co2mmunity example.
REM Consult has developed the project together with the Lead Partner, Kiel University. Energize Co2mmunity is funded by the Interreg Baltic Sea Programme as so-called “Extension Stage Project”.