Transferring success factors among renewable energy communities
01 Aug 22
Renewable energy communities have the potential to play a large role in the just energy transition across Europe. So how can we ensure the success of future energy communities in order to fulfil this potential? According to the latest report from COME RES, there is much to learn from experienced energy communities and understand which success factors can be transferred elsewhere.
The report gives in-depth insights into the analysis of 10 diverse best-practice existing cases from Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Portugal and Spain. In addition to the detailed analyses of each best practices, the report provides a comparative analysis of the success factors and lessons learned across all cases. Specifically, these cover contextual, financial, organisational, innovation, public authority support, and participation and inclusiveness categories. It was clear from the findings that, for a renewable energy community to be successful, it must achieve drivers across all or almost all categories. Furthermore, there is no one-size-fits all model, each renewable energy community must tailor its activities to their local contexts. Nevertheless, the two most important categories for success turned out to be financial and public authority support. Based on the analyses, the report also provides concrete recommendations for both public authorities and developers on how they can actively increase the chances of success of a renewable energy community. For example, public authorities can promote and support the development of energy communities through public tender processes, or allow energy communities to use public space such as municipal public building rooftops.
In sum, although the chances of success of an energy community in a particular place may be somewhat context specific, there are many common approaches and activities which can be taken into consideredation that can lead an energy community in the right direction. While the particularities of each case deserve specific attention, a certain combination of drivers, success factors and the following of certain principles, are likely to collectively lead towards successful initiatives in situations where similar contexts exist.