Energy  |  Publications  |  09.12.2013

The Benefits for an Energy Revolution: Community Power

This is a publication of the Community Power project, a project which connects twelve European countries aiming to put people at the heart of the renewable energy revolution. Community energy projects are not just good for the climate. People and communities involved in owning or running their own energy production – as well as society as a whole - experience a whole range of benefits. 

We urgently need to change our energy system into one powered by clean, community-owned renewable energy.  By putting communities and citizens at the heart of a shift to clean energy we can achieve a transition more quickly, fairly and with added benefits.  This briefing explores the many benefits of community energy and the steps we need to take to ensure that it reaches its full potential.

RENEWABLE ENERGY-THE ONLY GENUINE SOLUTION

Renewables – wind, solar, sustainable hydro and limited quantities of sustainable bioenergy – are the only inexhaustible, safe and technologically viable energy sources. Moving off fossil fuels and onto renewables will cut emissions and reduce our over-dependence on energy imports. Renewable energy also has the potential to create long-term, sustainable, green jobs. 

CREATING A DEMOCRATIC ENERGY FUTURE

Getting governments to agree adequate action on climate change and renewable energy has proved challenging. Meanwhile, a patchwork of national measures exists across Europe to promote cleaner energy but they fall far short of what is needed to meet the scale of the challenge. 

As political action stalls, people are empowering themselves to create a clean energy future. Community energy projects are growing in number, including solar communities in Spain, co-operative wind farms in Ireland, self-sufficient islands in Denmark, and insulation-buying clubs in the Czech Republic. This is exciting and encouraging, but more support is urgently needed to enable more communities to become part of a clean energy revolution.

For further information contact Molly Walsh at: molly.walsh@foeeurope.org

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