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Exploring Energy Communities

Exploring Energy Communities

13 Jan 21

DECIDE – Developing Energy Communities through Informative anD collective actions is a H2020 project that aims to understand how and why Energy Communities and Collective Actions are formed and use this knowledge to help roll out more of such initiatives.

Are you still wondering what is an Energy Community?

From the first day of the DECIDE project, we have kept the discussion live. As coordinators of the Bridge Task Force on Local Energy Communities, Leen Peeters of Th!nk E and Andreas Tuerk of Joanneum Research organised an interactive workshop on this topic in June 2020. You can watch the recording here.

Energy Community concept is clear. Still, how is DECIDE going to achieve its aim?

Project partners spent the summer in detailed planning of tasks, needed teams and assuring secure and easy ways of communication and information exchange are setup. In October 2020, DECIDE was on the MOVE towards its goals. Partners presented their actions on analysing Energy Communities and Collective Actions. Considering that DECIDE includes constant interaction with citizens who participate in these initiatives, our GDPR and Ethics advisers brought these topics to life with real-life examples through interactive storytelling to all partners.

In addition to understanding social, regulatory and technical constrains and possibilities of different Collective Actions and Energy Communities, DECIDE applies the knowledge directly in existing initiatives through seven pilots in five EU countries (Greece, Estonia, Belgium, Germany and Austria). DECIDE on the MOVE virtual event involved presentations of each pilot, their existing sites and status and their plans for growth within DECIDE.

We are proud to say that each pilot represents a different collective action or energy community, giving a good overview of existing initiative. While DECIDE’s focus is on the successful growth of the pilots, as the project develops, we aim to use collected knowledge and lessons learned to help replicate these initiatives and be a hub for ideas, good practice and discussion on energy communities and collective actions.

DECIDE is very diverse and pilots are interesting, but are Collective Actions and Energy Communities regulated in all EU countries?

As DECIDE partners are involved in different EU initiatives such as Bridge, they are not just well informed but also active participants in defining and implementation of relevant regulatory framework on EU level and in their respective member states. In November 2020, Th!nk E and Joanneum Research centre organized a workshop to discuss current status of the EU legislation and the state of its transposition in various member states. The workshop saw high interest of all partners and has inspired us to continue the regulatory focused discussion, both on our website and during half year project meetings.

These are only some of the DECIDE activities that have already happened. Our partners in Austria, Germany and Estonia have been very active organising workshops with citizens and involved stakeholders and leading the discussion on what we would like energy communities to be or not to be. Don’t know about you, but we are excited to see where the findings lead us and to meet all the interested new partners and help them organise their own Energy Communities or Collective Actions.

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