Engaging people as active participants is key to accelerating clean energy transitions, both in terms of overall political support and to build local acceptance of new developments or infrastructures. Globally, local energy communities, or community-based energy projects have shown clear benefits in deploying renewables and efficiency, reducing bills, supporting access and reliable power supply as well as generating local jobs.
As the world is facing mounting pressure to accelerate decarbonisation and to mitigate impacts of the energy crisis in households and businesses, community-based initiatives are now garnering increased attention as an effective vehicle towards more people-centred, equitable and resilient energy systems. Advances in digitalisation are also expanding the potential for local energy communities to be a central pillar of clean energy transitions, providing a range of further benefits:
- Support the development of decentralised renewable energy production
- Alleviate energy vulnerability and poverty, including through the supply of affordable energy
- Empower people to upgrade the energy efficiency of buildings and communities
- Promote the participation of users who would otherwise be excluded
- Enhance the security and resilience of electricity systems
- Reduce regional disparities and support local economy.
This webinar will bring together on-the ground experience, leading expertise, and new thinking to explore how community action can provide benefits for people, power systems and the planet. Drawing on real-world examples it will explore the following questions:
- What are the enablers that could put local energy communities at the heart of future energy systems?
- What are the barriers that still need to be resolved for wide-spread implementation?
- What different socio-technical local energy community models exist?
- What can be done to ensure equity and social inclusion principles are built into different energy community models?
This event has been organised in conjunction with the IEA Digital Demand Driven Electricity Networks (3DEN) initiative supported by the Italian Ministry of Environment and Energy Security.
Expert Panel Discussion
Moderator: Dr Brian Motherway, Head of Energy Efficiency, IEA
- Eduardo Avila, Executive Director, RevoluSolar - RevoluSolar in the Babilônia favela, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Sharne Bloem, Researcher, Stellenbosch University - Smart Embedded Residential Microgrid, Lynedoch, South Africa
- Valerio Covicchio, Renewable Energy Community Business Developer, Enel X
- Reena Suri, Executive Director, India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF) - P2P trading of rooftop solar – Lucknow city, Uttar Pradesh, India
- Adela Tesarova, European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy (DG ENER)