What: COMPILE workshop on EnC – Discussing Energy Communities in Greece

Where: Rafina, Greece

When: 12th December 2019

How the story began:

Energy Communities (EnC) are a new tool for the transition to a democratic and decentralized energy system that focuses on the action of citizens, local authorities, businesses and their synergies with a view to energy sustainability. Building on the principles of democracy, equality, solidarity and respect for human beings and the environment, they have been an important institution for the development of projects directly related to the local communities, generating positive outcomes for them.

Today, both internationally and nationally, EnC are called upon both to identify the scope of their activities and to respond to the social, economic and environmental challenges of our time. EnC supported by the national framework enable the development of a variety of activities ranging from energy saving and RES energy generation to supporting vulnerable households.

The purpose of the workshop was to inform about the institutional framework for EnC and the potential benefits to citizens. It also aimed to highlight the examples of EnC that have emerged in the country in recent years and to share the experiences of the people who have joined them.

The workshop was organised by COMPILE partners ICCS-NTUA and Municipality of Rafina-Pikermi.

The workshop:

The first session focused on the importance of energy transition and how EnC can play an important role in this. Both the legal framework and technical challenges were presented. Representative from W.W.F presented the current situation regarding the climate crisis and how the energy transition and therefore energy communities can contribute towards reaching the goals for CO2 reduction. The Center for Renewable Energy Sources (CRES) explained the legal framework for energy communities pointing out the opportunities arising from it. Concluding the first session, ICCS-NTUA talked about the technical developments that contribute in the creation of local energy systems. They also presented the COMPILE toolbox ecosystem and how it will be implemented in the pilot site Rafina.

The second session started with the presentation of the Heinrich Boell Fundation’s guide “Building Energy Communities” by Electra Energy Cooperative who also introduced their Collective Self Consumption project “Hyperion”. The workshop continued with Greenpeace who emphasized the critical role municipalities should have in the energy transition and how they can be supported to create and manage energy projects. Last, the Karditsa Development Company (ANKA) presented how the cooperative way of thinking and acting can support EnC in developing projects. ANKA is a very successful cooperative model that operates a collectively owned biomass factory the produces high quality pellet. They also plan to invest on solar energy projects for collective self-consumption.

The event concluded with discussions in thematic corners. COMPILE had its own corner where the project was presented and its goals discussed.