The role of energy communities in Just Transition

Ioanna Theodosiou participated in the event titled “ Non- profit energy communities: Their role in energy democracy and the socially Just Transition of Western Macedonia”. The event was organized on June 3, 2021 by ΟΦeΛΟΣ, the network of non- profit energy communities of Western Macedonia.

The invited speakers included Nikos Koltsidas (member of the farmers’ group Proud Farm) who talked about the benefits of non- profit energy communities for the sustainable agricultural production, Effie Korma (Center for Renewable Energy Sources and Saving) who presented the European experience of energy cooperatives by mentioning specific examples per country and also described the existing situation of energy communities in Greece, the barriers and the challenges they face, Vassilis Bellis (General Director of  Development Agency of Karditsa) who described the example of the Energy Cooperative of Karditsa, how it was developed and its importance for the local community and economy, and Giorgos Aliagas (Advisor of the General Secretary of Energy, Ministry of Environment and Energy) who talked about the Ministry’s actions regarding the institution of energy communities. The event was coordinated by Lefteris Ioannidis, former Mayor of Kozani.

Ioanna Theodosiou presented Green Tank’s proposals in order to overcome the barriers that were recently developed in deploying energy communities in Greece and support this valuable institution. She focused on the need to ensure equal terms of competition for energy communities through a specific competitive scheme only for energy communities. She also proposed the adoption of a mixed scheme of fit-in-tariff and competitive procedures that could be implemented as a transitional model before the entry to absolutely competitive procedures. She emphasized on the need to create a development fund especially for energy communities and the enactment in the National Energy and Climate Plan of a specific quantitative target for them. Specifically for lignite regions in transition she proposed subsidies for the cost of installation of renewable power generation systems or heating systems from RES or energy efficiency projects for the non-profit energy communities that aim to cover their own energy needs. She insisted on using the existing revenue from the CO2 auctions for supporting the development of energy communities, and establishing special incentives for the cooperation of large energy companies that implement RES projects with energy communities. Finally she said that it is crucial to include energy communities in the Territorial Just Transition Plans that will be submitted to the European Commission.

You can watch the whole event (in Greek) here.

More about Green Tank’s proposals for supporting energy communities in the article (in Greek) Can energy communities face the new reality?