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November 10, 2021 / Category: Events, Project Updates

STEER IT UP – Hands on event was a success!

by Nikolas Giampaolo, project consultant at Deep Blue Italy

 

STEER IT UP – Hands on event was a success! On the 21st of October the RENAISSANCE project and COMPILE project hosted the first Pan-European event in Brussels, to allow interested participants understand both research approaches and explore the tools developed in support of emerging energy communities. The overall event was a success! In total 28 people joined in person and 25 followed us online, with lively discussions in a most informal atmosphere.

Below a few highlights of the event.

WELCOME KEYNOTE

from prof. Thierry Coosemans | VUB and Tomi Medved | University of Ljubjana

The event started with project presentations from prof. Thierry Coosemans, coordinator of the Renaissance project, and Tomi Medved, deputy coordinator of the Compile project. The two interchanged on stage with a vivid presentation on the topic of energy communities and the increasing need to adopt new business models for a sustainable future.

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KEYNOTES SESSION

Frederik Loeckx | Flux 50

Christine Lins | GWNET

Achille Hannoset | DG Energy

After the introduction three keynote speeches were delivered by Frederik Loeckx from Flux 50, Christine Lins from the Global Women Network for the Energy Transition (GWNET) and Achille Hannoset from the DG Energy.  Frederik Loeckx expanded on the necessity to put more effort in energy communities as a way to breakthrough traditional centralized forms of energy distribution. According to him, energy communities could represent a positive disruption in the overall socio-technical system which could then become the norm. Christine Lins demonstrated the high involvement of women in energy production and sharing choices both in households and in local communities and advocated for more research and capacity building in this direction. Achille Hannoset summarized the perspective and expectations towards energy communities in Europe, confirming their vertical growth in Europe, despite the Covid-19 pandemic. He concluded that barriers still exist, especially at the Member States regulations level, and remarked that transposition should accelerate in order to facilate the transition.

(links to keynote presentations available soon…)

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Crossed introduction of the pilot sites

After the keynotes representatives from each pilot introduced the site characteristics, the deployment process and the level of maturity and efficacy reached in the past few months. The presentations covered:

 

Panel discussion

Josh Roberts (Rescoop.eu), Alix Bolle (Energy Cities), and Els van Praet (Ecopower) were the three invitees of the panel, facilitated by Stanislas d’Herbemont (Rescoop.eu). The discussion focused on the actual barriers to the implementation of energy communities, especially at policy and regulatory level. Research projects should offer citizens and all potential members of a new energy community the informative tools to better orient themselves into incentive schemes and bureaucratic aspects. Also, create opportunities for actual empowerment and involvement in the decision making processes since early phases.

Around 20 people from the audience answered to three questions via the Sli.Do platform.

1- What are the challenges to create energy communities that blend municipalities, citizens and SMEs?
In line with our Social Acceptance survey results, participants consider the lack of clear legal frameworks and the lack of information as the major barriers to the creation of energy communities involving altogether local actors such as municipalities, citizens and SMEs.
REN STEER IT UP slido results (2)
2- What are the key components to take into account while building an energy community?
Most participants agreed that the key component (and probably the more innovative one) is the ownership structure of energy communities, which once again underlines their social value. If they choose to become members of an energy community, citizens would be involved directly in choices and, to some extent, in their management, making it more a civic responsibility matter than a mere economical or technological one.
REN STEER IT UP slido results (3)
3- What can regulators do to support the creation of CECs and RECs?
Finally, regulators are considered responsible not only for a clearer and stronger definition of RECs and CECs, but also for identifying the procedures and obligations to ensure local actors (e.g. municipalities, public institutions and bodies, ad-hoc organisations) receive proper training and capacity building is enabled to facilitate the energy transition in the local communities.
REN STEER IT UP slido results (1)

Free Roaming Session – Showcase of tools

Following the Panel Discussion a showcase of the different existing tools started. The showcase was provided in a hybrid mode and presenters answered questions coming from both the physical and online audience. The demos included:

 

PLENARY SESSION

The event ended with a plenary session to answer the remaining questions from the audience and a group picture!

 

 

Watch the full event recording

 

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