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Energy Communities Repository
News article1 December 20232 min read

Watch our final conference to hear key advice from existing energy communities

wind mills on hills

Our joint final conference, with the Rural Energy Community Advisory Hub, gathered EU energy communities to discuss the primary outcomes and achievements of the projects. It focused on four themes: stakeholders engagement, business models and legal forms, the social role of energy communities and the future of energy communities.

The event hosted energy communities from across Europe, allowing them to share their experiences during four sessions on specific topics:

  1. Understanding and engaging Stakeholders: In this session, two Italian energy communities and one Czech community shared valuable insights on involving local actors in the community. One of the Italian communities stressed the importance of creating mutual benefits for collective progress. The Czech approach was different as it consists of prioritising groups of stakeholders: Firstly, involving mayors, secondly, connecting with citizens who will mostly follow their mayors’ actions, and finally inviting developers to accomplish the community goal.
  2. A diversity of legal Forms and Business Models: Energy communities from Cyprus, Estonia, and Spain, at different maturity levels, presented their legal forms and business models. They discussed the challenges faced and the lessons learned such as taking the first steps, managing expectations or identifying priority needs while establishing their energy communities, recognizing the diverse options available depending on the country.
  3. Social Role of Energy Communities: Energy communities play a pivotal role not only in providing energy but also in addressing energy poverty. Communities from Croatia, Spain, and Portugal shared their experiences in setting up programmes and tools, such as energy efficiency packages, to offer solutions to populations in vulnerable situations.
  4. A bright future for Energy Communities: The concluding session featured five panellists, including representatives from energy communities from Ireland, the Netherlands and Austria, the Director of the Customer Policy & Protection department of the Commission for Regulation of Utilities, and a German researcher from an European university. It was underlined that cooperation should be put in place as energy communities are part of a wider eco-system. To give energy communities a major role in the energy transition, some work still need to be done and energy democracy, energy citizenship and having ownership over production installation are key elements. 

The conference concluded by emphasising the integral role of energy communities in the ongoing energy transition and the need for cooperation with other actors. Bringing communities and citizens together is a key factor for a bright future. It is also important to not forget that energy communities are part of a wider system and that all the actors should be able to trust each other. It is no longer possible to look at self-sufficiency alone, it is necessary to focus on a common solidarity and cooperation to face the challenge of global warming together.

For those unable to attend the event, the recording is now available.

> Watch the session about stakeholders' engagement

> Watch the session about legal forms & business models

> Watch the session about social role of energy communities

> Watch the session of the future of energy communities





Publication date
1 December 2023