Climate and Energy: the Danish Citizen to Citizen Way

An update from the municipality of Middelfart

We are mixing best practices with ideas from many great projects like the Empower20 project or the Co2mmunity project. Basically, it is all about making real life clean energy projects with citizens. The idea is: Leave the desks and talk to people about climate and energy, foster networking between citizens and support them.

Unfortunately, Corona has interfered with our plans, but we were flexible and organised a meeting online. The citizens from the town Strib asked for support to replace their gas boilers as gas boilers are expensive and not clean. We offered them our support to make an online meeting about it. They invited two Danish citizen examples to tell their story: the village of Foens explained how they made their own district heating system and the village of Brenderup showed us how they are making their own solar P.V. park.

Meeting before the Corona crisis
Online Meeting






Such meetings are really motivating for engagement in the green transition. It is important to meet citizens and get an impression on how to implement projects practically.

You can get an idea by looking at this video: it begins with the solar PV park at 51:20, the district heating follows.

— Morten M. Westergaard, Head of Climate & Energy, Municipality of Middelfart. Denmark —

Co2mmunity partners in Latvia elaborate recommendations for development of RE communities

In April, 2020, our partner in Latvia – Riga Planning Region – has finished the elaboration of recommendations for the development of energy communities in Latvia to respond to barriers encountered in policy and practice as well as to contribute to reaching the national decarbonisation targets.

The level of civic participation in energy production in Latvia is still inadequate and thus the development of CE projects must face several challenges. One of the largest obstacles to the increase of energy self-consumption in Latvia is the lack of incentive instruments, and the other – regulations that do not encourage local initiatives. It is worth mentioning the fact that initial costs to develop CE projects are high, as well as the payback period of projects is relatively long, therefore, the development of such projects seems to be available to a small number of owners.

In addition, the current net metering system is not compatible with the energy community idea since energy communities could include broader organisational forms, for example, corporate bodies. The current net metering system offers favourable terms only to individual households.

Experience from our pilot projects in Mārupe has highlighted that technical knowledge on legal and accounting issues is required for decision-making and project management. As the experience of such projects in Latvia is limited, each CE project initiative must find an individual approach in order to find the best solutions for administrative and technical approaches.

Furthermore, the evolvement of distributed generation, efficiency measures, and sustainable heating systems require a changing landscape of governance and cooperation.

A series of activities have been identified that must be initiated in Latvia to encourage renewable energy communities. The goal of the recommendations is to establish administrative procedures and funds that enable new or support existing renewable energy projects:

  • facilitate energy communities through regulations, for instance, by introducing community definitions and general provisions in Energy Law & Electricity Market Law,
  • ensure participation of public / local authorities in community RE projects,
  • adjust the existing net metering system to include community organisations or develop alternative models,
  • diversify funding for community RE,
  • adjust support schemes (equal conditions with commercial actors) & specific tax exemptions,
  • encourage engagement, coordination and access to information,
  • launch information campaigns authored by the government that demonstrate public support for energy citizens and community projects,
  • plan for energy communities and climate-neutrality,
  • advance sustainable energy and climate action plans for local and regional municipalities.

Many of these recommendations depend on a timely and progressive implementation of the National Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030. To comply with the national policy document, we consulted the national energy policy maker – the Ministry of Economics.

Please contact the project administrative coordinator at Riga Planning Region – Mr Ilgvars Francis ( for more information on our activities in Latvia. 


Country-specific Handbooks available

Co2mmunity compiled 8 country-specific handbooks in national language on community energy development for municipalities and citizen associations addressing their respective lacks, including information about organisational and financing possibilities, technical aspects, as well as local and regional CE potential. They have emerged from regional RENCOP processes, transnational exchange of best practices and experiences, as well as existing BASREC reports and scientific studies.

You can find your national handbook by clicking on your country in the map or in the download area.

Co2mmunity partners in Latvia strengthen cooperation with national energy policy makers and local communities

Our partner in Latvia – Riga Planning Region – in cooperation with its major local partners at the municipality of Mārupe implements a renewable energy community pilot project  by establishing and monitoring a citizen-driven RENCOP and thus demonstrating the ways how individuals can work together with a joint purpose to initiate and run a small-scale renewable energy community project in Latvia. Another goal of the pilot activities is to prove that some of the existing problems that impede successful implementation of CE projects can be overcome in practice.

On March 6, 2020, to capitalise on our recent achievements in Latvia, the project team organised a workshop in Riga that brought together the national energy policy makers from the Ministry of Economics, independent energy experts and representatives of local municipalities and household associations to discuss opportunities for a more intensive use of renewable energy solutions and further development of the CE pilot projects in Latvia.

To initiate debate, our Riga team delivered three presentations, focusing on the existing situation in the municipality of Mārupe from the perspectives of renewable energy and energy efficiency, the technical, financial and legal potentials for CE projects in Latvia and the overall progress in the implementation of pilot activities in Mārupe. The presentations were followed by a heated still unanimous exchange of opinions on how to introduce the concept of renewable energy cooperatives to the national regulatory framework.

Meeting with the experts from the national energy policy makers was not the first time our Riga team presented the outputs of their project activities. The project team has already had several meetings with the national energy policy maker to discuss the contents of the local outputs and the contents of the newly approved National Energy and Climate Plan 2030 of Latvia.

The NECP 2030 is the most important strategic energy and climate policy document in Latvia that details goals, instruments and actions that contribute to the development of a climate neutral national economy. For the first time, the plan clearly demonstrates the necessity to encourage implementation of CE approaches in Latvia. It is hoped that the experiences of Co2mmunity will contribute to the elaboration of new instruments that facilitate renewable energy community projects in Latvia.

Co2mmunity workshop on incentives to community energy projects in Latvia

The solutions proposed by the residents of two condominium houses in Mārupe provide for the installation of rooftop solar panels and solar collectors thus co-financing and co-producing energy. The demonstration projects will be complemented by energy data monitoring and real-time imaging on the website of the municipality. The project team, municipal experts and external consultants guide the citizens and provide their expertise, including technical know-how. Other solutions are also currently worked out.

Please contact the project administrative coordinator at Riga Planning Region Mr. Ilgvars Francis ( for more information on our activities in Latvia.

Denmark: New union for supporting Renewable Energy Community projects formed

Have you heard of combined shallow geothermal drillings, with horizontal arrays, serving individual houses for heating and cooling?

  • It’s a climate friendly energy system that provides cheap and efficient heating and cooling for houses.
  • It’s a sort of “Cold District heating” because the system basically just provides a closed loop with continuous supply of refrigerant which is shared amongst the houses. Each house has its own heatpump that is using the collective system.
  • It’s a system that works for large and small numbers of houses, and therefore suited for different sized communities. In Danish it’s called “Termonet”, in English Thermal net.

In the European funded project Co2mmunity, the concept has been developed in scale 1:1 in the municipality of Middelfart to support Renewable Energy Cooperation’s. However, a lot of work still has to be done to disseminate the advantages, possibilities and know-how.

Therefore, Danish frontrunners organised a virtual meeting where they founded the union “Termonet” on the 16th of March 2020.

The unions newly elected chairman, Søren Skjold Andersen, says: ”All the necessary technology is in place. We know all about heatpumps and buildings, but most often, systems are developed for just one building. There are massive advantages in combining the systems in collective systems. We are only seeing the beginning of the development that will produce new financial models, new ways for spatial planners to develop new cities and retrofit existing, new ways for entrepreneurs and organisational experts to provide climate friendly solutions. With our new union “Termonet” we have created a platform where people can meet and share knowledge. Anyone can join us, and we already have industry, research, private organisations and representatives from the public sector in our union.

In Denmark, there are five termonet systems, some are running and some are under construction. They can be visited in Silkeborg, Skjoldbjerg, Brenderup, Værløse and soon in Jyllinge. Feel free to contact the union Termonet, if you want to learn more about the initiative or technology.

Chairman, Søren Skjold Andersen, CEO Geodrilling, tlf. +45 22 44 08 71.

Boardmember, Morten Mejsen Westergaard, municipality of Middelfart and partner in Co2mmunity, tlf. +45 2054 4795

There is a Danish site and further information in English is to be elaborated.

Community Energy Forum for Policy Progress in Tallinn

Two weeks ago, a Community Energy Forum for Policy Progress was held in Tallinn, Estonia. In the end, a Joint Declaration of Intent was signed. You can read the text in the following or see the pdf-document here.

Community Energy Forum for Policy Progress

Forum Declaration Tallinn, March 11/12, 2020

At the Community Energy Forum, the Co2mmunity project partners, representatives of ministries, energy institutes and agencies, municipalities and regions as well as universities were from all over the Baltic Sea Region of the European Union were gathered in presence of the president of to exchange, discuss and debate about community energy, renewable energy sources and investment projects. This declaration has been signed by the attendants. 

Let’s take initiative!

The Community Energy Forum has been dedicated to Renewable Energy Communities (now formally recognised in the EU Clean Energy Package) in the Baltic Sea Region and its future development. The discussion was about the state of community energy in the Baltic Sea countries as well as what national, regional and local/municipal authorities can and will have to do to encourage and support Community Energy initiatives through a change in policy-making.

We want to promote Community Energy (CE):

  1. The recent Green Deal of the European Union includes:
      • the claim for clean, affordable and secure energy setting out the requirements that future energy systems must meet. These requirements can be fulfilled by enabling and facilitating energy communities to take an assured position in societies and to operate actively in the energy market. Therefore, the new EU legislation on CEs should effectively be transposed and then properly and intensively implemented in each EU Member State.
    • the direct and central focus on building renovation and energy efficiency. CE directly supports relevant activities – engage citizens to lower consumption, deploy more efficient infrastructure, collective decision making, supporting communities at large to initiate buildings renovation projects and focus on fighting energy poverty.
  2. The Green Deal does not include:
    • concrete detailed measures on how to support the democratisation of the energy system, assure and encourage communities as well as local municipalities participating in energy production. There is the need to include more thorough description about the role and expectations of CE in this, as CE is the prime opportunity for communities to take up ownership of a fair share of the decentralised and renewable energy production. of the near future.
  3. The Clean Energy Package (CEP) clearly acknowledges the big potential of Community Energy since it will secure social acceptance of the energy transition. It states that in every member state (MS) the barriers to community energy should be mapped and consequently removed with determined political action at all levels. Creating a stable policy framework and eliminating regulatory barriers is the key to seize the potential of CE.

We invite all European institutions, national, regional and local legislative bodies as well as local authorities and all European citizens to take initiative on Community Energy.

The potential of Community Energy is at hand, we need the right support from all to bring the changes by action.