Co-producing and co-financing renewable community energy projects
Co2mmunity
 
PROGRAMME 2014-2020
priority
2 Natural resources
objective
2.2 Renewable energy

Co2mmunity

The Interreg project Co2mmunity helped municipalities, regional energy planning agencies and citizens’ associations across the Baltic Sea region to implement community energy projects and ultimately move towards renewable energy sources.
The challenge

Community energy puts citizens at the heart of the energy production system. Local communities play an active role in the production of renewable energies from local sources such as wind, solar, biomass, hydropower, or geothermal. Together, citizens co-finance, co-develop, and co-operate renewable energy plants, and foster sustainable energy distribution, like local heating networks or biogas filling stations. Through active communication, transparent decision-making, and local benefit sharing community energy projects have high social acceptance. Consequently, fostering community energy projects is highly promising for increasing the share of renewable energies in the Baltic Sea region. This also contributes to the European Union’s vision of providing Clean Energy for all Europeans.

 

There is currently a knowledge gap concerning community energy (CE) in the Baltic Sea region. Co2mmunity worked to fill this gap by providing a solid and substantial knowledge base for CE stakeholders across the Baltic Sea. Thanks to the shared experience from the project partners, the project enhanceed the institutional capacities of municipalities, institutions responsible for regional energy planning, political decision-makers, and energy and citizen’s associations for facilitating community energy projects.

Budgets

Co2mmunity
in numbers
  • 3.15
    Million
    Total
  • 2.45
    Million
    Erdf
  • 0.00
    Million
    Eni + Russia
  • 0.00
    Million
    Norway

Achievements

Transnational exchange to foster community energy

The Co2mmunity partners organised Renewable Energy Co-operative Partnerships (RENCOPs) in their respective home countries. These local networks are comprised of communities, coordinators, and experts, which include citizens, authorities, businesses, and academia. Every RENCOP is different, but they all worked to implement renewable energy projects which would be unmanageable by one person or group alone. They could learn about the opportunities and pitfalls of cooperative renewable energy project development.

The project partners have initiated and managed nine RENCOPs in total in Estonia, Denmark, Finland (two), Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Sweden. Depending on conditions in the specific region, the RENCOPs have used different strategies and focus areas. Examples of this are solar panels for housing cooperatives developed in Sweden and Estonia as well as the jointly purchased heat pumps in Denmark.

The pilot projects are instructive examples for the participatory mobilisation process according to RENCOP and for profitable renewable energy on a community level. Thanks to RENCOPs, citizens can ultimately have access to knowledge that allows them to take the energy transition into their own hands.

Outputs

Roadmap on how to increase community energy using the RENCOP model

The transnational exchange of experiences with local RENCOPs triggered development of a transferable RENCOP roadmap. This will guide and encourage organisations in the Baltic Sea region to stimulate a higher production of renewable energies through energy-cooperative models and approaches, by setting up structures such as a RENCOP. It contains general and country-specific steps, in order to develop community energy in regions and municipalities across the Baltic Sea and beyond

White Paper: policy recommendations to support community energy

This White Paper informs policymakers and decision-makers from local to regional and transnational levels (i.e ministry and public officers responsible for energy issues as well as government agencies and regional authorities) in the Baltic Sea region about key conclusions of the project. It contains suggestions and recommendations to stimulate, support, and promote community energy projects.

Policy Paper for energy stakeholders in the Baltic Sea region

This document includes general information about Community Energy, its benefits as well as its status in the Baltic Sea region. It also contains a set of ten policy proposals that can help policymakers in removing barriers to community energy. Some of these policy proposals apply only to some countries or regions, it is then up to the local situation, which of these proposals should be considered. The document was developed through the research literature, practical experiences of projects and broad consultation with experts and stakeholders in the Baltic Sea region.

Guidelines for participatory mobilisation process to set up a RENCOP and CE Partner Agreement

The guidelines describe key steps to be taken to develop a strategy for building a mobilisation process to initiate and establish a RENCOP. They provide the do’s and don’ts of RENCOP work, and some of the experiences gathered during the project while using the guidelines. As regards the CE Partner Agreement, it gives an overview of how to further develop RENCOPs to carve out tandem systems between frontrunners and followers forming transnational CE-partner agreements in the field of community energy. The special focus is on having a look at the specific challenges and conditions in the partner regions (SWOT analysis) as a base to identify suitable partners for community energy (CE) projects and develop suitable tandems.

Project Stories

Partners

Kiel University

  • Town
    Kiel
  • Region
    Kiel, Kreisfreie Stadt
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
427,640.10
54.322708510.135555

SUCCEEDED by PP17 (01.01.2018) Green City Energy AG

  • Town
    Munich
  • Region
    München, Kreisfreie Stadt
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
21,338.82
48.137107911.5753822

Heinrich-Böll Foundation Schleswig-Holstein e.V.

  • Town
    Kiel
  • Region
    Kiel, Kreisfreie Stadt
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
233,925.00
54.322708510.135555

Municipality of Middelfart

  • Town
    Middelfart
  • Region
    Fyn
  • Country
    Denmark
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
312,621.60
55.44702459.93698091984884

Tartu Regional Energy Agency

  • Town
    Tartu
  • Region
    Lõuna-Eesti
  • Country
    Estonia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
145,915.00
58.39564534999999526.630885501668523

Aalto University Foundation sr

  • Town
    Aalto
  • Region
    Helsinki-Uusimaa
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
173,850.00
60.18608165000000624.828468612421393

Green Net Finland

  • Town
    Vantaa
  • Region
    Helsinki-Uusimaa
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
177,400.00
60.309187125.0364526

Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia

  • Town
    Seinäjoki
  • Region
    Etelä-Pohjanmaa
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
137,050.00
62.795410422.8442015

Thermopolis Ltd - Energy Agency of South Ostrobothnia

  • Town
    Lapua
  • Region
    Etelä-Pohjanmaa
  • Country
    Finland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
138,497.10
62.970278323.0068628

Riga Planning Region

  • Town
    Riga
  • Region
    Rīga
  • Country
    Latvia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
284,664.50
56.949397724.1051846

Kaunas Regional Energy Agency

  • Town
    Kaunas
  • Region
    Kauno apskritis
  • Country
    Lithuania
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
138,280.00
54.898213923.9044817

Lithuanian Energy Institute

  • Town
    Kaunas
  • Region
    Kauno apskritis
  • Country
    Lithuania
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
107,900.00
54.898213923.9044817

Foundation for Sustainable Energy

  • Town
    Warsaw
  • Region
    Miasto Warszawa
  • Country
    Poland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
185,218.50
52.231958121.0067249

Energy Agency for Southeast Sweden

  • Town
    Växjö
  • Region
    Kronobergs län
  • Country
    Sweden
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
223,951.90
56.878718314.8094385

Lund University

  • Town
    Lund
  • Region
    Skåne län
  • Country
    Sweden
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
276,633.05
55.702929613.1929449

Green City Experience GmbH

  • Town
    München
  • Region
    München, Kreisfreie Stadt
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
163,980.43
48.137107911.5753822

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