Aalto University is comprised of six schools with more than 17,000 students and 4,000 staff members. The university has a long research tradition in the field of energy, making it a beacon for Finland’s energy future. Furthermore, there is significant headway in finding and developing solutions for a sustainable energy supply as approximately 24 professors are working in the field of energy, society, and information.
Karoliina Auvinen and Salvatore Ruggiero from the University’s Department for Management Studies support Co2mmunity by coordinating Co2mmunity’s research activities. The research activities focus on successful examples of community energy (CE) projects from the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). The analysis of these cases will serve to identify barriers related to CE projects, elaborate policy recommendations, create a CE toolkit, and promote CE initiatives in the BSR.
The Working Group Economic Geography at Christian-Albrechts University Kiel provides research on the dynamics of local and regional economic activities in a global production context. This includes studies on the Energy Transition, on regional innovation policies, or on cluster of creative industries.
The head of the working group is Prof. Dr. Robert Hassink. The team is responsible for project administration and management in addition to chairing the project’s steering committee since the Working Group is the lead partner of Co2mmunity. Furthermore, the Working Group is leading the Co2mmunity research activities, focusing on the development of a community energy knowledge base for the Baltic Sea Region.
The Energy Agency for Southeast Sweden supports local and regional actors to achieve a sustainable energy system. The agency is owned by local and regional authorities focusing on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and mobility. In Co2mmunity, they engage in compiling an overall RENCOP roadmap, and in the final phase, they will execute the marketing activities for said roadmap.
The Foundation for Sustainable Energy (FNEZ) is a non-governmental organisation and an independent think-tank promoting sustainable growth in the energy sector. FNEZ is specialised in conducting social dialogue and environmental impact assessments for energy investments. FNEZ has authored numerous positional statements, publications, and guidelines as a long-term partner of government, parliament, and the administration.
In Co2mmunity, FNEZ analyses national and regional conditions in order to develop RENCOP in Poland and thus implement community energy projects.
Green City Experience GmbH was established in 2005 as the subsidiary of the non-profit environmental organisation Green City e.V. Through its energy projects and services, the Green City Experience GmbH makes a significant contribution to the Energy Transition and helps to bring a climate-friendly, citizen-owned energy supply at stable prices while conserving valuable resources.
In Co2mmunity, the Green City Experience GmbH develops and establishes a peer-review and tandem system between frontrunners and followers to support the transfer of knowledge. Furthermore, these transnational tandem agreements between identified communities help strengthening long-term forms of cooperation and collaboration for promoting community energy projects.
Green Net Finland (GNF) is a Finnish clean-tech cluster developing a smart and low-carbon urban environment. GNF brings together the expertise and resources of Finnish cleantech companies, scientific and educational institutions, and public authorities. Project development and project management are GNF core competences. They are creating outstanding development projects and other activities aiming at energy and resource efficient low-carbon urban environment. GNF promotes Finnish cleantech innovations and the growth of business within said industry. Furthermore, they also provide matchmaking services for international companies looking for information on the Finnish cleantech sector and partnerships in Finland.
In Co2mmunity, GNF coordinates the Helsinki region’s RENCOP, which focuses on solar electricity community projects in apartment buildings.
As an intrinsic part of the global environmental movement, the role of the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation Schleswig-Holstein is set to promote societal and political change. Together with other associations within the initiative “Energiebürger.SH”, the foundation is fostering the Energy Transition by means of empowering citizens through practice-oriented courses, building networks, and encouraging citizen initiatives.
Within the Co2mmunity project, the foundation will establish and run a RENCOP in the district of Rendsburg-Eckernförde to promote community energy (CE) projects. Furthermore, the foundation is leading the group of activities 3.2 “Stimulating CE projects in partner regions – regional RENCOP work”.
The Kaunas Regional Energy Agency was founded in 2003 under the SAVE II programme. The agency’s main objectives are to promote and develop a rational use of energy, to promote the use of RES, to contribute to environmental protection, and to promote international contacts as well as local cooperation.
In Co2mmunity, the Kaunas Regional Energy Agency will study possibilities and identify barriers to community energy while spreading international best practice and promoting the activities of frontrunning municipalities. The agency will also prepare proposals and give recommendations for renewable energy financing for local communities and distribute this knowledge through seminars, workshops, and publications/handbooks as part of their local RENCOP.
The Lithuanian Energy Institute (LEI) is a state funded research organisation that has over 60 years of research experience in diverse energy sectors. Main competences related to the Co2mmunity project include research of energy sector planning, estimation and modelling of renewable energy resources, energy economy, development of technologies, research on technology application, analysis of energy efficiency issues, preparation of feasibility studies, action plans, and the analysis of legal frameworks.
The main role of LEI in this project is the creation of an online database of community energy (CE) projects in the partner countries. LEI will gather information about CE projects in Lithuania and partner countries, perform analysis of the initial situation regarding possibilities for the implementation of CE projects, while also contributing to the activities of other work packages.
Lund University has 47,700 students and 7,500 employees and is ranked 78th in the world, according to the QS Ranking 2017/2018. The Department of Human Geography participates in Co2mmunity. Geography is the highest ranked subject at the university, currently ranked 26th in the world.
Lund University leads two tasks of the Work Package 2. The first being the scientific review of knowledge on drivers and barriers for community energy, and the second the process analysis of the establishment and development of RENCOPs.
The Danish municipality Middelfart is part of the Triangle Region. Denmark’s Triangle Region is a sub-region which consists of 7 municipalities, and is home to 350,000 people and around 18,500 companies. The municipalities in the Triangle Region focus on creating and stimulating RENCOPs.
In Co2mmunity, Middelfart Municipality will work with different RENCOPs in the Triangle Region. The goal is to create RENCOPs where citizens are in focus and the main driver of the projects. RENCOPs are an excellent way to implement renewable energy locally.
The Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia is a statutory federation of municipalities consisting of 17 municipalities. The Council is a development organisation that acts as an active and cooperation-orientated initiator in regionally important development projects. Work is done within regional development and planning, culture, internationalisation, regional co-operation and advocacy, and versatile project activities.
In Co2mmunity, the Council is the leader of the Work Package ‘Bringing CE on the socio-political agenda‘ as well as of one of the corresponding activities ‘Developing BSR-wide policy recommendations‘. Furthermore, the Council and Thermopolis run the regional RENCOP of South Ostrobotnia.
Riga Planning Region consists of 30 local municipalities, including Riga, the capital of Latvia. It is the most densely populated region and home to 1,089,960 inhabitants which is 50.5% of the total population of Latvia.
In Co2mmunity, Riga Planning Region will initiate, manage, and organise a RENCOP in one of its local municipalities – the Marupe municipality – as well as ensure the dissemination of the gained knowledge and results of the pilot project in Co2mmunity. Other activities include the elaboration of a community energy (CE) handbook and regional policy recommendations for Latvia.
In addition, Riga Planning Region will actively cooperate with local CE stakeholders and involve them in the implementation of project activities both on a regional and an international level, for instance, through workshops and exchange trips.
Tartu Regional Energy Agency (TREA) focuses on renewable energy sources and energy efficiency in both public and residential buildings within Estonia. TREA inter alia develops energy action plans for municipalities and feasibility studies for district heating systems. They also look into renewable energy systems in buildings to make specific recommendations. Thereby, TREA provides independent advocacy for regional and local stakeholders, such as municipalities and communities while working closely with the Ministry of Economics and Communication.
TREA coordinates the development of policy recommendations based on community energy (CE) in the RENCOPs. The main output of the activities will be a White Paper with suggestions on how to improve national and regional policies on CE to achieve sustainable energy now and in future.
Thermopolis Ltd. – Energy Agency of South Ostrobothnia is a non-profit company, situated in the rural region of South Ostrobothnia in western Finland. Thermopolis partakes in multiple development projects both regionally and internationally. It offers impartial energy counseling and consulting services. The issues promoted are renewable energy, energy efficiency, and energy saving.
In Co2mmunity, Thermopolis is responsible for country-specific handbooks. As one of the main outputs of Co2mmunity, these handbooks will deepen the understanding of community energy (CE) in the Baltic Sea Region. Also, these handbooks will provide practical and local insights into RENCOPs and CE.