Building on successful examples from Member States such as Germany (900+ cooperatives, thousands of local utilities), Austria and Scandinavian countries, shouldn’t the EU rather strive to become the world number one in community energy? Such an ambition would bring with it numerous advantages, an obvious one being more social acceptance towards renewable energy projects. In parallel, the trend of “remunicipalisation” is seeing local authorities – which enjoy greater trust levels than multi-national companies – taking back control of local energy supply and grid management, re-investing profits into local development. Civil society in general is wishing to take a more active role within the energy system. What better opportunity for EU institutions to embrace such a trend, and in the process reconnect disillusioned citizens with the big European project?
To go down that road, Energy Cities has fed the European Commission consultation process with four key recommendations: