Power to the Consumer rests on three elements: shared investment; citizen engagement; and innovative markets and finance.
When citizens and local authorities invest in renewable energy infrastructure, risks and returns are shared more evenly across the sector. Consumer-built installations and citizen-funded finance give more stakeholders a direct interest in renewables’ success.
One sensitive issue is that of new renewables installations – often blocked because of local concerns. Handing control of a project to citizens or including them in other ways can cut regulatory delays for local authorities and promoters since the project becomes an initiative based on local consent.
Innovative market and finance models
New funding models (such as crowdfunding) are playing a growing role in acceptance and financing of renewable energy. Innovative financial instruments, stable regulation and clear market signals can further encourage investment says the European Commission.
From ideas to action
European initiatives are putting these values into practice. The CITIZENERGY platform lists renewables projects across Europe in which citizens can invest, along with project ideas and advice. Another is the REScoop network, which supports renewable energy cooperatives through training and online support.
Find out more about power to the consumer here.
SMEs are also shaping Europe’s energy future
On Wednesday 15 June (16:00-17:30), CEOs of four of the most innovative SMEs in Europe will pitch their energy efficiency and sustainability projects and visions at the EUSEW Policy Conference Speakers’ Corner. Open to press and delegates, the presentation will be followed by an open debate ‘Powered by SMEs – innovation in energy efficiency’.
The four projects and speakers are:
Willpower (Gensoric GmbH) (Germany), pitched by Lars Krüger. This project’s electro-biocatalytic and process technology produces fuel at home from CO2, for more sustainable heating.
SmartCim (Cimberio spa) (Italy), pitched by Giacomo Cimberio. Smart water distribution valves from this project interoperate with other HVAC components for more efficient heating and cooling.
HELIOtube (HELIOVIS AG) (Austria), pitched by Felix Tiefenbacher. This cheap, resource-efficient ‘collector technology’ cuts build and operation costs for concentrated solar power (CSP) plants.
Watly (Spain/Italy), pitched by Marco Antonio Attisani. This project’s modular solar-powered units store electricity, purify and desalinate water and connect local communities to the internet.
Online registration is closed, but you can still come to the Conference and register on the spot. Join us next week and have your say on Europe’s energy future.
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