On 1 June 2022, MUSE GRIDS organised the webinar “Energy communities in Europe and beyond” together with the EU Project COMPILE. The event was also selected by the European Commission as partner event of the #EUGreenWeek (30 May-5 June).
Energy communities are generally seen as an important actor in contributing to green and just energy transitions. Yet, the notion of “energy communities” is also surrounded by a variety of conflicting expectations, assumptions and expected roles. The webinar discussed a selection of these issues emerging in current debates about energy communities in Europe and in India, by sharing experiences gained in two ongoing EU Projects, MUSE GRIDS and H2020 Compile.
The experience of MUSE GRIDS and its Indian demo site was presented by Natascha van Bommel, PhD Candidate at the Eindhoven University of Technology. In particular she looked into the connection between energy communities and energy justice: despite often these two concepts are linked one to the other, she revealed with practical examples and data that energy communities do not always translate into energy justice (and viceversa).
Stanislas d’Herbemont, Development Manager at REScoop.eu, shared the experience from the EU Project COMPILE, looking at the link between energy communities and energy democracy mainly in the European context. Energy communities translate into energy democracy when a series of aspects are met. One of the most important is the concept of ownership: in order to realise energy democracy the process needs to be bottom-up.
The discussions were moderated by Johanna Höffken Assistant Professor in the group Technology, Innovation and Society at Eindhoven University of Technology.
You can learn more on the concept of energy communities, energy justice and energy democracy by watching the recording of the webinar here.