EU Parliament adopts directive on the promotion of Renewable Energy, 13th Nov 2018

A major pillar of EU climate policy has always been the transition to renewable energy. With the proposed recast of the Directive on the promotion of renewable energy sources’ energy communities have come into focus for renewable energy deployment due to their numerous benefits. Energy communities, as far as they are legal entities, are to be supported so that they can compete with larger actors. Also energy self-consumption up to 30 kW of generation capacity is protected by the directive.

The text will now go back to the council for its final adoption. After being adopted there, it goes into force automatically as foreseen in the ‘Ordinary Legislative Procedure’ of the EU. This comes as part of the EU Winterpackage of 2016 that set the new climate protection goals of the EU. In June, the commission, council and parliament had already reached agreement on renewable energy, which has not been achieved in the area of energy efficiency.

Finland: Second expert-driven RENCOP meeting in Lapua

Second expert-driven RENCOP meeting held in Lapua, South Ostrobothnia 24th of September 2018 in the premises of Thermopolis Ltd. – Energy Agency of South Ostrobothnia (Lassilantie 12, 62100 Lapua). Ten experts participated to this meeting and represented participants from municipalities, research and development organisations, educational organisations and financers with a link to the citizens. New idea came up for an open citizen-driven RENCOP process, which is to give inspiration and organize events for ordinary villagers in Aisapari Leader area (includes following municipalities: Kauhava, Lappajärvi, Evijärvi, Vimpeli, Alajärvi and Lapua) to promote renewable community energy in the village houses of the area.

Finland: Legal barriers for solar PV, a breakfast and an interview

Many housing companies in Finland wish to install solar PV systems on their rooftops, as a survey from our partner Aalto University shows. Current legislation requires a major revamp of the metering infrastructure though.

In response, Aalto University organised a breakfast for interested parties to discuss opportunities and barriers for solar PV self-consumption last week. The barriers to energy communities in housing companies made national news and during an interview the Finnish Minister for Climate and Energy promised a solution in the next year. The topic is especially important as Finland has no Feed-in-tariff scheme otherwise supporting solar PV rooftop installations.


Picture: Solar PV rooftop on a housing company appartment building in Helsinki

Denmark: Second Round of Common Purchase of Heat Pumps

In week 44, a new round of “Common purchase of heat pumps” will start together with the municipalities from the Energy Alliance Triangle (Kolding, Fredericia, Billund, Vejen, Vejle and Middelfart Municipalities).

The goal of this campaign is to support citizens to change from a fossil fuel based heating solution to a heat pump, and by purchasing heat pumps collectively to reduce the investment cost.

Due to the fact, that this will be the second round of the campaign, we can use what we´ve learned from the first round and improve the process.

For more information contact:
Morten Mejsen Westergaard (morten.westergaard@middelfart.dk)
Mareike Johannsen (Mareike.johannsen@middelfart.dk)

Denmark: Green bottom line with common purchase of heat pumps

”Of course it makes sense to go together with other homeowners, when you want to throw out the old oil furnace and buy a new efficient heat pump. It gives economies of scale and the possibility to spar with other homeowners about the advantages and disadvantages with different offers on heat pumps.”

This is what Carsten Mortensen, owner of Frishop.dk, who is the chairman of the group of citizens, who together collected offers on heat pumps, says. The group, of 5, maybe 7 people, are about to make a deal with Klimadan.

Peter Davidsen from Klimadan says: “I am proud that the homeowners choose our offer. The homeowners have been exciting to work with, not least because the have been prepared. Before Klimadan has been asked to make an offer, the homeowners already had informative meetings about replacement of oil furnaces. This won´t be the last time we will join this type of task and we hope there will be more of this type of initiatives.”

The initiative for the informative meetings, have been organized by the Energy Alliance Triangle (Vejle, Kolding, Middelfart, Frederica, Billund and Vejen Municipalities) and a presentation has been given by www.sparenergi.dk. In connection with these meetings, the homeowners could write their names on a list of “serious homeowners”, who where ready to replace their oil furnaces. From this part on, the homeowners contacted on their own, the suppliers, who they wanted to make offers, with a little facilitation from the municipalities.

It is a type of project, we will see much more of in the future. At least if it is up to the mayor Johannes Lundsfryd Jensen, Middelfart Municipality. Johannes Lundsfryd Jensen says:” We are working tough with the green transition and a sustainable community, which means that we together with the citizens will take the initiative and create common sustainable results. Common purchase of heat pumps is a great example of how the municipalities serve the citizens with advice and guidance, facilitation of meetings and the hassle. And yes, it can seem innovative and wild, that we support common purchase of heat pumps like this. But it is essentially fully in line with what a municipality is: a unity to solve common interests and needs, no matter if it is teaching, eldercare or collective energy initiatives. That citizens can save money and reduce CO2 emissions with 15 to 25 tons in this project is a gain for the individuals and the community.”

Author: Morten Mejsen Westergaard
Translation: Mareike Johannsen

Contact:
Morten Mejsen Westergaard (morten.westergaard@middelfart.dk)
Mareike Johannsen (Mareike.johannsen@middelfart.dk)

The article was published in Danish in the Fredericia Avisen as well (PDF). Find the original on the homepage of Middelfart Municipality.

Solar Energy RENCOP in Alavus, Finland

A solar energy event was held in Alavus on the 26th March 2018 at the premises of Alavus City Development (Fasadi, Taitotie 1, 63300 Alavus). It served to enhance solar energy in the city of Alavus and sorroundings and  also to establish a temporary, smaller RENCOP. 39 participants attended and received information on how to connect solar systems to the grid, what systems are available and what possibilities exist for the coupling solar and geothermal systems. The event was free and open for everyone and advertised by the Alavus City Development in local papers and networks as well as by Thermopolis Ltd. on its Facebook page.