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INEGI joins European project to boost creation of renewable energy communities

06 January 2021
They are called "renewable energy communities" and this new trend breaks with the traditional management of the energy system. While the conventional model is based on citizens as passive consumers of energy transformed and transported to consumption points, these communities are responsible for managing their own energy, sharing costs and benefits.

It is the mirror of the transition underway in Europe towards a more sustainable and citizen-centered energy system, and an initiative that, from the perspective of the European Union, should be encouraged, as it is a response to the urgent need to decarbonize economies.

It is in this context that COME RES (Community Energy for the Uptake of RES in the Electricity Sector) emerges, a European project that will apply around 3 million euros to support the development of renewable energy communities in nine European countries - Portugal, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Norway, Poland, Latvia and the Netherlands. Coordinated by Freie Universität Berlin, the initiative has a total of 16 partner entities.

INEGI will launch the first European platform dedicated to «renewable energy communities»

INEGI represents Portugal in the consortium and assumes a crucial role in the development of the initiative at the national level, where the existence of renewable energy communities is still residual despite being an activity recognized by law since 2020.

Specifically, the Institute's team will "analyze the legal, political, social and economic factors that can enhance or constitute barriers to the implementation of renewable energy communities and their large-scale adoption in Portugal" says Isabel Azevedo, responsible for the project at INEGI. This analysis will be carried out with the support of a diverse group of starholders, through the creation of a national discussion group and thematic workshops. "Based on this information, we will design new business models that facilitate the creation of these communities, as well as an action plan that promotes its implementation in the Northern region of Portugal ”.

Support the definition of state policies and a more effective regulatory framework, promote the dissemination of information, and train local stakeholders, are some of the strategies that the Institute's team of specialists intends to put into action. 

Alongside this effort, a free and easy-to-use European platform will also be created to disseminate and disseminate the concept, facilitate communication between interested people, and support the development and organization of community projects.

The objective is "to reduce the time and effort needed to promote projects for renewable and community energy installations and to promote the transfer of good practices", explains Isabel Azevedo, with efforts geared towards "municipalities and autarchies, business parks, industrial agglomerations, and even residential communities".
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