Local actors, which include citizen energy initiatives called REScoops, local authorities, and local independent energy companies, are doing their part to lead the energy transition. Over the past decade or so, more and more communities have mobilised to produce and supply themselves with clean renewable energy, and the trend is growing. But it’s not just about renewables. 'Local Energy Communities' across Europe own and operate their own local grids and they provide services to their members to help them save energy (e.g. energy efficiency) and address pressing social issues such as energy poverty. The movement also has its sights set on providing storage and demand response, and in setting up micro-grids to provide other services to DSOs. Indeed, REScoops, local authorities and local energy companies can work by themselves, but there are also many potential benefits of cooperation.
While new provisions on local energy communities have been included in the Commission’s ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ legislative package, many in the energy sector do not yet clearly understand what they are or the benefits they have to offer the energy system. Through an interactive panel and subsequent debate, presenters will provide different perspectives of how local energy communities and local energy companies are driving the energy transition. The purpose of having such an exchange will be to better inform the debate about what local energy communities are what they are capable of, and how they should be supported.