To conclude the RENALDO project, a conference with more than 200 participants was held on 1 and 2 March 2023 in Warsaw under the banner ‘Energy cooperatives as part of a sustainable energy transition in rural areas’.
The two-day event was opened by Ms Anna Gembicka, Secretary of State at the Polish Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ms Nathalie Berger, Director for Support to Member State Reforms at the European Commission’s DG REFORM, and Mr Berthold Goeke, Deputy Director-General for National and European Climate Policy, at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. In Poland, interest in energy cooperatives is growing rapidly, as evidenced by the large number of participants. Both days of the conference attracted over 250 participants, with 140 attending in person and more than 100 joining online.
On the first day, participants learned about the energy cooperative model and its advantages, and about experience from European energy cooperatives in Italy, Greece and the Czech Republic. The panel discussion summed up the best practices of the RENALDO project from the point of view of the communities involved. For the success of a Polish energy cooperative, the role of a leader to not only support the process of establishing the cooperative, but actively drive it forward, was emphasised. The first day closed with a presentation of the newly launched support programme for the Energie dla Wsi cooperative.
On the second day, experts from the project presented the RENALDO calculator and the legal basis for energy cooperatives and provided practical information on founding and operating energy cooperatives. All interested parties had the opportunity to acquire in-depth knowledge about energy cooperatives in Poland.
Energy cooperatives are an important element in building local, independent energy markets, as the Polish Secretary of State underlined in her address. When the project was first launched, there were only two registered energy cooperatives – this had increased to six by the end of the project. Although this figure is still modest, we can assume that the high level of interest will be reflected in the founding of new energy cooperatives in the near future and thus in the creation of new local energy markets.
Video: RENALDO Conference Summary
Watch a summary of the RENALDO conference:
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