On 1 December 2022, the event “Citizenship as a driver of the energy transition: Energy Communities” was held at the Cidade Tecnológica de Vigo (CITEXVI) within the framework of the European project EU-NETS.
This event, promoted by the technology centre for energy efficiency and sustainability – EnergyLab, gathered almost 30 people to debate about the challenges, barriers and opportunities that Energy Communities currently face.
Initially Eduardo Rodríguez, Director of the Urban Ecosystems and Industry area of EnergyLab, presented the objects of the project, as well as the multidisciplinary team that together with EnergyLab is developing the EU-NETS project: ASSISTAL – Italian Association of Energy Service Companies, the Universities of Athens (Greece) and Coruna (Spain) and the Greek SME EUDITI.
Diego Quiñoy, Researcher in the area of Urban Ecosystems and Industry at EnergyLab, then presented the results of the first work package carried out within the project. This involved a cross-analysis of the Energy Communities in Spain, Italy and Greece, focusing on the regulatory framework, promotion strategies and governance models that are being adopted in the different European countries.
To close the contextualisation of the energy communities sector, the Director of Energy of the Instituto Enerxético de Galicia (INEGA), Juan Ignacio Rodríguez, analysed the future prospects and the regional mechanisms to promote these new entities in Galicia.
The other half of the session was dedicated to the presentation of five success stories in Spain. The Asociación Socioambiental La Palma Renovable, the Comunidade de Montes Veciñais en Mán Común de Tameiga, the Comunidade Local Enerxías Renovables de Buchabade, Comunidad de Energías Renovables (CER) Sapiens Energía and the Asociación Arousa en Transición told the audience how they have developed their initiatives, what barriers they have had to overcome and what future ambitions they have for their respective cooperatives.
The event offered a plural forum in which the audience’s doubts were cleared up, strategies for overcoming some barriers were presented and some issues were raised that are still pending resolution, but which are not preventing the proliferation of this type of initiative throughout Spain.