Who are we?
Co2mmunity is an INTERREG project in the Baltic Sea Region funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Co2mmunity project partners. The team of project partners comprises 15 organisations from 8 different countries in the Baltic Sea Region including government, energy agencies, a municipal utility, and universities. On our Project Partners page you can find more information about the different organisations and institutions represented and their role in the project. All together we aim to support community energy project development and create understanding among stakeholders.
What is community energy?
Community energy (CE) projects offer enhanced production of renewable energies (RE) from local sources, like wind, solar, biomass, hydropower, geothermal, through active participation of local communities. Together, citizens co-finance, co-develop, and co-operate RE plants, and foster sustainable energy distribution, like local heating networks or biogas filling stations. Through active communication, transparent decision-making, and local benefit sharing CE projects have high social acceptance. Consequently, fostering CE projects is highly promising for increasing the share of RE in the BSR.
Who benefits from our project?
No comprehensive documents about CE exist in the BSR. Co2mmunity’s objectives are to create this CE knowledge base and to enhance the institutional capacities of municipalities, institutions responsible for regional energy planning, political decision-makers, and energy and citizen’s associations for facilitating CE projects.
What will we do?
Core to our approach are renewable energy cooperative partnerships (RENCOP) that initiate and support CE projects. In each partner region Co2mmunity will initiate and manage a RENCOP. A transnational exchange of RENCOPs will result in a transferable RENCOP model/roadmap, enabling a transnational catch-up process between frontrunners and followers as well as enhancing the capacity of local, regional and BSR-wide actors to foster CE. Beyond this, we will develop a synthesis report on the current CE situation in the BSR, including a best practice compilation. It will showcase success factors of CE projects that are transferable across contexts. We will also develop locally specific CE handbooks and white papers for public stakeholders. Read on below to find more about the outputs planned or continue to the pages on RENCOPs and CE project cases, as well as the project database created for Co2mmunity.
Above: The Co2mmunity team at the project meeting in Kaunas, September 2018
To support community energy projects, Co2mmunity studies, initiates and develops regional partnerships of organisations active in the field called Renewable Energy Cooperative Partnership (RENCOP). To establish a sound knowledge base and make the knowledge generated in the next steps available to the broader public Co2mmunity develops the following outputs as part of the work package ‘Developing a Community Energy Database for the Baltic Sea Region’:
- An online database of community energy projects including an interactive map, that allows interested parties to inform themselves about projects in their region
- A scientific review paper of community energy barriers and drivers, providing a scientific input for other outputs and knowledge for citizens, project developers and policy makers
- A report on the current state of community energy in the Baltic Sea Region
- Additional scientific articles on lessons learned in the renewable cooperative partnerships established in each partner country
Of course, Co2mmunity will also establish RENCOPs in the partner regions and support the development of community energy projects. The work in this area is packaged under the title ‘Facilitating Community Energy Projects with the RENCOP model’ and will result in the following outputs:
- A stakeholder map and analysis as well as RENCOP model for each partner country
- A guideline for mobilising partners for a RENCOP
- A transnational community energy project agreement, that can be used to put a project into writing
- A roadmap for RENCOP development, to help municipalities in your region to establish an effective support structure for community energy development
Last but not least, Co2mmunity recognises that political support will be needed from national government as well. Consequently, we will also work on ‘Bringing Community Energy on the socio-political Agenda’, which will result in the following outputs:
- A community energy handbook for each of the 8 partner countries providing the essential information on community energy
- A white paper to inform national and regional actors on how to support and initiate community energy
- A policy paper for actors of the Baltic Sea Region suggesting specific policies on community energy