About Energize Co2mmunity

Renewable. Community. Energy.

Co2mmunity is a network of organisations which are scattered across eight different countries in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). Our mission is to facilitate community energy (CE) project development as part of a transition to renewable energy sources. To achieve this mission, we create local partnerships for energy project development, provide knowledge, develop tools, and organise stakeholder meetings. Instead of working in isolation, we exchange ideas and experiences while continuously supporting one another. Doing so will help us improve  our understanding of CE barriers and enablers, and thus relay the aquired knowledge to policy makers. Therewith, the Co2mmunity project contributes to the European Union’s vision of providing Clean Energy for all Europeans.

Energize Co2mmunity is the follow-up project phase, intending to further develop pilot projects and reach more stakeholder in the piloting regions. We try to find solutions to overcome barriers to CE projects and promote the RENCOP model as a solution. 

Who are we?

The Co2mmunity project is co-funded under the INTERREG programme by the European Regional Development Fund alongside the project partners’ own contributions. The project partners consist of 8 organisations including government, energy agencies, a municipal utility, and universities from eight different countries within the BSR. The Project Partners page provides additional information regarding the partners and their roles in Co2mmunity.

Energize Co2mmunity is the extention of the predecessor project Co2mmunity.

What is community energy?

CE projects offer the generation of renewable energy (RE) from local sources such as solar, biomass, hydropower, and geothermal. Projects are developed and implemented through active participation of local communities, in which citizens work together to co-finance, co-develop, and co-operate RE plants. Sustainable energy distribution, such as local heating networks and biogas filling stations have a greater chance of success as CE projects. Furthermore, through active communication, transparent decision-making, and local benefit sharing, CE projects have high social acceptance. All in all, fostering CE projects is highly promising for increasing the share of RE in the BSR.

Who benefits from our project?

There are currently no comprehensive documents concerning CE in the BSR. Therefore, one of Co2mmunity’s objectives is to fill this knowledge gap. From our shared experience, we created a CE knowledge base to help enhance institutional capacities to support local communities. These benefits will not only be felt by municipalities, but also institutions responsible for regional energy planning, political decision-makers, and both energy and citizen’s associations that facilitate CE projects.

In the project pilot regions across the BSR, the CE stakeholders benefit from coordination and facilitation through our RENCOP coordinators. The six pilot projects will be instructive examples for the participatory mobilisation process according to RENCOP and for profitable RE on a community level. Ultimately citizens benefit from the outputs and have access to knowledge that allows them to take the energy transition into their own hands.

What are we doing?

Based on the outputs and experiences of Co2mmunity, our 8 partners on the pilot regions will further advance the successful work and implement CE projects. A transnational Partner Agreement will deepen the identifies cooperation possibilities among the partner regions. This takes form in a transnational pairing approach, teaming up frontrunner regions with follower partner regions. Study visits as well as exchanging good practice experiences and know-how will support the piloting regions and involve and connect regional CE stakeholders.

We also plan to reach CE stakeholders in the pilot regions beyond the partnering projects and to facilitate and start the RENCOP idea in other places with the constructive good practice achieved. Energize Co2mmunity means to support the implementation of CE projects also beyond the own RENCOP.

The project aims to put life and broaden real-life CE projects, based upon the mobilisation process out of the RENCOPs and upon transnational pairing and piloting support. Ultimately, Co2mmunitys aim to promote sustainable renewable energy in the Baltic Sea Region remains.

Outputs

Energize Co2mmunity will produce two main outputs:

1. The generation and implementation of “six piloted renewable community energy projects” in different partner regions.

2. A “compilation of findings for CE solutions” that will consist of success stories, processes and main lessons learnt from experiences in CE piloting in each region. Using a storytelling approach, developments will be communicated on a regular basis.