Energy Communities: A route of Public Participation towards Energy Democratisation

Energy communities are considered as vehicles for citizens to collectively engage in the generation, consumption, storage, trading, and distribution of energy, marking a shift towards a decentralized, sustainable, and inclusive energy framework. EU has been at the forefront of championing the energy community initiative, while citizen engagement in energy communities is an essential tool towards energy transition. Across the European Union (EU), more than 9,000 energy communities are actively addressing energy poverty. “Renewable Energy Communities” (RECs) and “Citizen Energy Communities” (CECs) are concepts already defined in EU legislation, granting these groups a recognized presence in the energy sector focused on local engagement and community benefit over profit. In addition, the 2019 European Green Deal emphasized that citizens are and should remain a driving force of the transition to sustainability. Legislative strides tied to the “Fit for 55” initiative and the “RePowerEU” plan show the EU's drive to foster community-scale, participatory renewable energy systems.

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