Bringing Germany’s Bürgerenergie to New Regions in Europe
This project aims to ensure an ambitious implementation of the European Clean Energy Package’s (CEP) new provisions in support of community energy, harnessing them as a tool to promote public renewable energy initiatives in the energy systems of Hungary and Spain in particular.
The Renewable Energy Directive and the Electricity Market Directive both contain articles that specifically recognise the rights of and give rights to community energy projects to produce, store and sell their own energy.
This project provides local environmental and community groups and municipal stakeholders in Hungary and Spain with information on the provisions of the CEP and the potential of community energy, enabling them to start projects locally and reach out to national and local decision-makers. Additionally, the project builds the capacity of national, regional and local decision-makers to implement legislative changes for communities in their country or region, which may include the removal of barriers.
“The people’s windmill”: Public action outside the European Parliament in support of community energy. Source: Friends of the Earth Europe
The project keeps relevant European decision-makers informed about the situation of community energy and the progress made in implementing the CEP, enabling them to better support the project countries in their work to establish enabling environments for community energy. Mentoring and the twinning of community energy projects enhance the exchange of best practice and skills across Europe and support the development of national working groups in Hungary and Spain that are linked to the growing European Community Energy Coalition.
European countries such as Germany, Denmark and, in part, Belgium have demonstrated the potential of community energy and the central role of citizen participation in the Energiewende (energy transition). Most EU Member States lack enabling legal frameworks, which impedes the development of many projects. In Hungary, as in many of the countries of Central Eastern Europe, community energy is not widespread and only a few pilot projects exist. In Spain, the retroactive changes made to electricity regulations have affected renewables and community ownership and brought the momentum that once existed in these areas to a halt. However, with the implementation of the CEP there is a window of opportunity to change this.
This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). The EUKI competition for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.