21 June 2021 | Reading 5 mins.

The rising tide of energy communities

Westmill Solar Co-operative members celebrate their successful share raise to buy what was (at the time) the world’s largest solar energy cooperative. The landowner and green activist and his wife, who worked so hard to make the project a reality are in the centre of the picture along with some of the 1,600 members who raised the funds for the project. Westmill in Oxfordshire (UK) - 2013.

Photo: Westmill Solar Co-operative

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Sara Tachelet
Communication Manager, REScoop.eu
Heleen Schockaert
Project Manager, REScoop.eu

Sara Tachelet, Communication Manager, REScoop.eu

Heleen Schockaert, Project Manager, REScoop.eu

Community energy is key to action on the climate crisis. It can empower people, boost local economies, and reinvigorate communities. Community-led initiatives play an important part in the transition towards a just and 100% renewable energy future. Success stories of community energy projects can be found all over Europe. Telling and sharing these stories can accelerate the movement towards a cleaner and more democratic system by inspiring others.

COMPILE, a H2020 project that is supporting the set-up of energy communities in closed or poorly connected systems, has collected a set of best practices from community energy projects across Europe. The aim is to democratize the European energy system by providing solutions for energy communities to grow and flourish. To support this aim, the project has developed a Best Practice Guide, which brings together experiences from the community energy movement across the continent and provides ideas and inspiration to take action.

Setting direction, inspiring change

The guide is built to inspire existing energy communities to broaden their scope and consider new activities and innovative collective models to engage in energy transition projects. These examples may also inspire other organizations and citizens to find the direction they want for themselves when trying to define their role in the energy market. Moreover, they can inspire national policy makers to put in place national policy frameworks that fosters the emergence of energy communities. Finally, local authorities – including cities and municipalities – may find the examples useful and relevant to consider when making and implementing sustainable energy and climate action plans at the local level.

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