Energy communities are exclusive purpose local urban cooperatives through which primarily citizens (either as natural or legal persons) can be active in the energy sector, exploiting clean energy sources. The new institutional framework ensures favorable conditions for the establishment and operation of energy communities, with the aim of strengthening not only individual / family incomes, but also local entrepreneurship, the solidarity economy and the promotion of energy democracy.
The social economy as a system is a necessary condition in order to realize this goal with citizen synergies to ensure a sustainable energy system for all social groups inclusively and to tackle energy poverty.
Municipalities, their legal entities and citizens can participate in these Cooperatives jointly or separately.
The installation of photovoltaics can be done on roofs as well as photovoltaic parks.
From information we gathered for Greece, the investment for each household varies between 2,000 and 3,000 E. and the return benefit is around 15% per year. So capital payback in less than 5 years.
Practically, a related investment can ensure energy self-sufficiency in municipal buildings and schools, but also become a living example to organize citizens in cooperative energy production to save significant resources for each household.
Civil Society, ecological, cultural, consumer and humanitarian organizations can play an important and decisive role in mobilizing citizens as they have the force to do.
The mobilization of processes from below for the production of energy from alternative sources is offered for the first time in history as the large multinational companies (oil companies) become a brake on the spread of new technologies of energy sharing and knowledge. They obviously don’t want to lose their super profits from a new cost-minimizing energy industry. Therefore, a political issue arises for local communities to defend the social benefit against those who prevent the diffusion of technological innovations and distributed energy. Energy is too serious a business for the future of society and the Planet due to climate change to be left in the hands of the big multinationals who insist on holding humanity hostage to fossil fuels.
Low energy costs and local energy self-sufficiency
In the long term, the outlook for renewable energy sources remains positive and is characterized by steady growth across all sectors and a reduction in energy costs. Between now and 2040, research and analysis show that:
• Total demand will increase by over 30%.
• By 2050, Renewable Energy Sources will constitute approximately 56% of the total energy potential.
• “Developing” countries will build 3 times more Renewables capacity than “Developed” countries.
• Penetration of Renewable Energy Sources will double reaching 46% of total electricity production.
• The cost of Wind energy will decrease by 32% while that of Solar energy by 48%.
• Solar energy will account for more than 1/3 of the global increase in Energy potential.
A general campaign is needed by civil society organizations and consumer organizations, and cooperatives in collaboration with local government to accelerate participation in energy cooperatives with Tools¨:
One (1) Technical Study which will determine the technical procedures, tasks and methodology of implementing the plan with specific dimensions and measurements, conditions and distribution of the project, for the service of each member. The procedures for the supply of installation materials. The amount of energy that will be produced and distributed to the beneficiaries.
One (1) Manual, based on the exemplary model (PV Park) that will be formed, will function as a tool for the use and dissemination of the practical implementation of the Energy Communities. It will also function as a communication tool of the incentives and advantages that exist for Energy Cooperatives. And finally to function as a mechanism for the implementation and application of the exemplary model, for the creation of businesses by organized consumers, by collectives.
When the financial leverage of the market is objectively absent, as is the case after the prolonged crisis, at least a policy of leveraging inactive resources and social capital is required, as well as synergies with large social collectives and Local Government.
This role of leveraging institutional demand can be played by large Consumer organizations, trade unions, ecological and cultural Associations. The distinct and distinguished role of social enterprises supported by social collectives is to transform inactive material and human resources into energy of productivity and economic action.
The Manual and the Technical study will be distributed to all Municipalities that have not yet started relevant procedures and initiatives for this purpose will be supported.
The social impact of this action is expected to be very significant as a pan-European mobilization is necessary.
Footnote: The vigilance of society on the issue of energy is of capital importance. Starting the mental journey from the Promethean fire, reaching electromagnetism and the infinite satellite radio frequencies in our mobiles, we must reflect.
“Energy” in all its forms is a source of life originating from the life-giving Sun. Energy is food and every movement, energy and knowledge. That is why it must be distributed to everyone.
Einstein, at the level of physics with his well-known equation E=mc2, proved that everything in nature is energy. Correspondingly, at the level of the economy, energy determines all development. New technologies and forms of energy had a decisive effect on all phases of the first, second and third industrial revolutions.