In a context of transformation of our energy system from fossil-fuels dominated supply to renewables and of increasing concerns over the social acceptability of the transition, energy communities emerge as an opportunity to shift toward a more decentralised and inclusive, renewable-based energy production system. Since 2018, the EU has been driving the energy community movement on the continent, introducing the concepts of renewable energy communities and citizen energy communities in its legislation. The EU legislation explicitly recognises these communities as purpose-driven actors, taking on additional environmental and social responsibilities. But without sufficient public support and an appropriate enabling environment, energy communities might not be able to fully realise their potential to improve social cohesion at local level, foster inclusiveness and reduce energy poverty.
To which extent is the European Union helping the energy community movement and what can be improved? Can energy communities really contribute to reducing energy poverty and reaching vulnerable households? How can the EU support them in this regard?
We are delighted to welcome Klervi Kerneïs, Research Fellow in EU Energy Policy at the Jacques Delors Institute, who published with Camille Defard the report “Analysis of the political and regulatory context for development of energy communities at EU, national and local levels” in the framework of the EU-funded project Sun4All.