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With pressure on local governments to meet challenging carbon reduction targets, municipalities are increasingly working in partnership with local people, citizen groups, SMEs, social housing providers and local associations to develop low carbon services and own and operate energy system infrastructure.
Energy Communities are mission-led participatory bodies that can become part of a city’s energy system. They can take many active roles including generators, distributors, aggregators, suppliers or retailers. They can also act as service companies offering low carbon transport or energy efficiency services. Energy communities can raise money directly from the community, for example by offering community shares or establishing a cooperative. This approach brings in both valuable finance, and equally valuable community engagement.
This guide explores Energy Community examples from across Europe and offers inspiration and ideas for replication to anyone with a role in a municipality. All of them are renewable energy based communities – these are the most common today. National energy regulations may affect which models will be most suitable in different places. But we hope that among these varying case studies, useful insights can be found and adapted.
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