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White Paper

Can Energy Communities Fund the Energy Transition?

Andy Bradley's picture
Director Delta-EE

Andy is a Director of Delta-EE, a specialist research and consultancy company in the 'new energy' sector. Since joining Delta-EE in 2010, Andy has helped define and develop Delta-EE’s portfolio...

  • Member since 2020
  • 36 items added with 27,903 views
  • Aug 28, 2020
  • 2472 views

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Can Energy Communities fund the energy transition?  

Against the background of the worst recession in the last three centuries, the EU ambition to deliver a trillion-dollar infrastructure investment initiative seems ambitious. It raises one simple question. Where is the money going to come from? 

And the answer? Maybe from you! 

Find out more in this Whitepaper from Delta-EE's local energy systems experts.

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Thank Andy for the Post!
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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Aug 28, 2020

The EU has already identified consumers as a key potential source of funding, overcoming the challenges of constrained public sector finances and limited institutional capital in the wake of the pandemic.

Do you see this at all as passing the responsibility onto the people rather than the large entities (corporations, governments) who are more responsible for the current energy/climate situations? There are always concerns about passing the buck onto the little guy when the big players are the ones who can/should make bigger splashes

Andy Bradley's picture
Andy Bradley on Sep 1, 2020

Thank you Matt for you comment. You are right, the EU already identified consumers (or should I say citizen/energy communities) as a key funding sources. We expect to see differences between European countries in how they implement this concept. Like in North America, there are significant differences between different regions across the European continent and these regional factors will strongly influence the innovations that get traction with consumers and regulators in different countries.  We’ll be closely tracking what it will mean in terms of distributional impact, governance, and new business models in Europe.

Andy Bradley's picture
Andy Bradley on Sep 1, 2020

I get your point but no I don’t see it really being driven by a desire to pass the buck to the little guy, but rather a desire from the little guy such as energy communities wanting to accelerate the energy transition by taking an active role in it. The energy transition is leading to a much more complex and distributed energy system, and local assets often on the customer side of the meter will play a much more important role in the future than they have in the past.  Many of these assets will be owned by end consumers, or at least will be within their homes or commercial buildings.  So the ‘little guy’ is inevitably going to be a much more involved participant in the future than in the past.  In parallel to this, increasing connectivity and digitalisation are bringing down barriers and enabling the ‘little guy’ to be play an active role, one that potentially he/she can even make a return on.  And now we see post-COVID economy recovery plans favour projects that support local investment, employment and resilience. So it’s a mix of both push and pull factors.  A challenge for the ‘big’ energy players is working out how they can play a role that gives them the scalable opportunities they are always after. Do they need to own new physical infrastructure? Which assets? Or do they just need the right partners to access assets? Should they just become local energy system managers, facilitators or aggregators? Governments and local regulatory frameworks will strongly influence the role they choose to play.   

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Sep 1, 2020

So the ‘little guy’ is inevitably going to be a much more involved participant in the future than in the past.

This is a great point. Thanks for the follow up, Andy!

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