What is an Energy Community
Energy from renewable sources has greatly promoted “prosumer” ideology and it has become a global megatrend in the energy sector. Energy from wind, sun, biomass and geothermal is abundant. Technologies are already in place and it is full reality today that the energy consumers are able to produce, consume and share a part or all of its needed energy from renewable sources. This can also be done on a collective basis, through the Energy Communities. An Energy Community is a partnership or legal entity between all kinds of energy consumers and organizations. It produces, consumes and shares the needed energy between the members of the community. In the global scale, this development can be considered like “Energy Democracy” that allows to secure adequate energy supply between the consumers with sustainable, affordable terms and therefore it breaks the traditional connection between individual energy consumer and monopolistic energy utility.
Greece adapted the energy community legislation in 2018. The establishment and operation of the Energy Communities as introduced and established by Law 4513/2018 constitutes a new and integrated institutional intervention supporting social economy in the energy sector. Since then, several energy communities have been formed and there are a significant number of energy projects under development by these communities. Due to abundant renewable energy sources from wind and sun, it is foreseen that energy communities will likely change the energy landscape in Greece.
The main goal of the energy communities is to promote social economy values and innovative energy solutions, as well as produce, distribute and exchange energy from renewable energy sources, in local or regional scale. Energy Community is an initiative for citizens, social organizations, local or city authorities, small and medium-sized local businesses to take part in energy projects as producers and consumers at the same time (NetProsumers).
The energy communities can strengthen the decentralized growth model, since incentives and benefits of clean energy production and management in local scale can be diffused across society to full extent. Locality is strengthened yet synergies and partnerships with public and private energy stakeholders are promoted.
The main idea is to bring together individuals, initiatives, social actors and the social economy, which are strengthened by the rule of democracy within the Energy Community, which is guaranteed by the parity of the participants, irrespective of the cooperative share.
The operation of the Energy Community, beyond the benefits for its members, will be the possibility to apply successful technological examples of energy autonomy in regions of Greece and abroad, with the ultimate goal of becoming self-sufficient and autonomous in energy, while also contributing significantly to the economic and social progress of its members.Energy Communities enhance solidarity in favor of social economy, as well as attract and increase investment locally. Energy self-sufficiency, sustainability and environmental protection are the expected result, by making use of all available tools in the energy market, such as offsetting energy, netting energy, smart power meters and more