Relinde Baeten: “You have to make yourself choose. Choose your way, and love your choice.”
Relinde was a board member of Ecopower, a large Belgian citizen energy cooperative. She was a founder of Coopkracht and REScoop.eu. Relinde has been an elected vice-mayor in her municipality for the Green Party of Flanders (Belgium), the coordinator of a major transition network association in Belgium and the Netherlands (VELT). Relinde was a leader and inspiration for many cooperative projects across Europe and beyond. This guide is dedicated to Relinde, in the hope to show and continue the work that she has dedicated her life to.
The COOLKIT is a series of reports and dashboards to help you build your energy community. This repository is meant for community leaders and members looking to create an energy community. If you are reading this text, you might be wondering about the following questions: how to create an energy community ? what are the benefits of creating an energy community? what are successful examples of energy communities? How do energy communities supports the energy transition? All questions that this repository is looking to answer. This toolkit will support your journey to create, grow and scale energy communities in your neighborhood.
What are you going to find in this toolbox?
The Best Practice guide, collecting experiences for the community energy movement across Europe. We provide examples for all types of activity, energy services and citizen-led partnerships. The Stakeholder Engagement guide, providing tools and techniques to build community groups and organizations. e provide examples and methods to engage people in your neighborhood. The Financing guide, explaining how to finance your projects and structure your ownership. We provide templates and examples on how to structure a community energy project. The Technical Tools guide, describing the technical tools developed by the COMPILE project. The features of each tool is described and explained.
What is an Energy Community?
Energy Communities refers to an organizational concept that is described as part of the Clear Energy Package for all European legislation. The key principles which guide the energy communities definitions trace back to the Community Energy movement. Therefore our guides will focus on examples of those citizen-led initiatives and more specifically citizen energy cooperatives.
You can find out more about the specifics of energy communities and their legal definitions in the Energy Community Definitions Paper, available in the download section of the COMPILE website.
What is Energy Democracy?
At the heart of the energy community concept is the empowerment of European consumers in the energy market. Energy democracy refers to the capacity of citizens to take part in the energy system, with the goal to accelerate the energy transition. Energy democracy refers to the process of creation of collective action schemes, such as energy communities to support the direct participation and the ownership of citizen in the energy market. Energy democracy should therefore be a silver lining of the energy community creation. The key principles of this transition to energy democracy are: citizen ownership, democratic governance and autonomy.
What is this guide not doing?
This guide is not providing you with a quick-fix, or a simple solution to the creation of an energy community. It is not providing you with a single way to get engaged and deliver the energy transition. This toolkit should be understood as an introduction. In this introduction, the team of COMPILE project provide you with ideas and inspiration. We introduce tools and methods.
If you have a specific question, that you do not find an answer to in this guide, or if you are looking for further support, we encourage you to get in touch with our partner in charge of community building: REScoop.eu (contact: Stanislas d’Herbemont / firstname.lastname@example.org).