Community energy from scratch

Voices from the ECF collaboration lab


2020 was a tough year and never before has the need for local resilience and solidarity been stronger. One extraordinary means for increasing solidarity while making places stronger are renewable energy communities. Since recently renewable energy communities are legally defined and protected by EU legislation. “Community energy” or “community power” refers to people in a community cooperating on energy issues. This can include cooperatives, companies with a community interest, foundations, or also local authorities.

In October, we have brought together 3 cities and their civil society representatives from three different European countries: Pamplona in Spain, Strasburg in France and Modena in Italy. The city delegates came together during an e-cooperation lab that Energy Cities organised thanks to funding from the European Climate Foundation.

What role does the city council play in an energy community? And how challenging is the cooperation between citizens and the administration? Let’s hear what the lab participants have to say. Listen to Claudia and Sara from Modena, Juan and Javier from Pamplona and Jaqui and Gerard from Strasburg.

All three cities are at different stages of experience and development of an energy community. Strasburg helped an energy cooperative to come to life in the past 18 months. Modena already experimented with small energy communities and will now start one together with Italy’s big citizen energy cooperative enostra. And, lastly, Pamplona is probably the most junior in the field. They just start reaching out to citizens now and work on a joint project with the regional cooperative E+P.

This episode and the collaboration lab were made possible thanks to funding from the European Climate Foundation (ECF). The ECF is an international non-profit and its great team promotes climate and energy policies in Europe. In 2019, the European Climate Foundation launched its Energy Democracy program. It focuses on the support of community energy projects both at the EU and national levels. europeanclimate.org

Listen to the three city interviews in full length:

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