Energy communities organise collective and citizen-driven energy actions that will help pave the way for a clean energy transition, while moving citizens to the forefront. The energy market is rapidly transforming and so is the role of the consumer. Yesterday’s passive consumers become central actors in today’s energy markets. Today, as prosumers, citizens can benefit from their generation, consumption, and storage capabilities. Moreover, by supporting social engagement and citizen participation, energy communities can help provide flexibility to the electricity system through demand response, storage, and peer-to-peer energy exchange. Based on the collective debate from nine H2020 running projects (Renaissance, COMETS, Sender, eCREW, Lightness, ReDream, HESTIA, UP-STAIRS and NRG2peers), several challenges and key lessons learned can be identified for just social engagement. These challenges and lessons are relevant for the present and future development of EU energy communities.

Authors: Simona d’Oca, Sylvia Breukers, Stephan Slingerland, Marten Boekelo, Mara J. van Welie,Christian Moscardi, Aggeliki Aggeli, Katrin Burgstaller, Thierry Coosemans,Rebecca Hueting, William Throndsen

This article belongs to the Proceedings of The 9th Annual Edition of Sustainable Places (SP 2021)