Energy communities: what roles in the face of the climate challenge?

The concept of energy community was designed to respond to the climate challenge. Like a new way of producing and consuming energy. In society, the desire to get involved seems to be present. But it is sometimes still difficult to achieve. The question, moreover, is debated on the EDF Pulse & You co-ideation platform.

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In a world where theenergy remains very centralized, the energy community concept surprised. Even clashes a bit. The idea is indeed to allow those who were until then only passive consumers to become real players in the energy market of tomorrow. Because, behind the concept of energy community, there is the idea of ​​producing, exchanging, storing and consuming energy. This now seems within everyone’s reach thanks to the advent of renewable energies and a few innovative technologies.

But the concept remains new. And to help you better understand it, the EDF Pulse & You co-ideation platform has launched a campaign on the subject. With the ambition also to support those most interested in their project to create an energy community. Thanks to the sharing, not of energy, this time, but of experiences.

One of the questions that arises is to know how an energy community is created and then organized. The first step is definitely to bring it together. Information, first. On the initiatives already developed in France – there are already several hundred, mainly focused on solar energy production, but wind power, hydraulics, biogas and heat renewable also seem to be able to make a place for itself – and in the rest of Europe. Gather citizens then.

Committed citizens and some support

One of the possibilities is to associate with a community. This can help to remove some administrative barriers in particular. Communities can also decide to put land or roofs, available to the energy community. They know the local issues and have some useful technical skills. All the more so as they can prove to be very voluntary, because they are anxious to develop their energy resources or to create a local dynamic around sustainable development projects.

Local agencies and unions may be inclined to make funding capacity available. To carry out engineering projects or set up support.

Energy communities can also bring together associations and even businesses. The legislative framework is indeed broad enough for this. And this is particularly judicious, for example, if the energy community wishes to focus on changes in use, implement actions for energy efficiency, control of consumption or the fight against fuel poverty. It is also a way of promoting the local economic and social fabric.

Finally, it may be interesting to turn to historical energy companies. They can indeed offer technical support and useful services to the energy community. As’installation of solar panels or communicating outlets, the provision of energy management systems or the connection between producers and citizens. And still others that remain to be imagined. Why not by exchanging with the Pulsers on the co-ideation platform EDF Pulse & You ?

In a very practical way, it will be necessary to go through the creation of a legal entity. Quite simply from an association under the 1901 law, for example. This entity – and more precisely, the citizens and communities that make it up – can then make the necessary decisions: choose whether or not to produce its energy, choose its electricity supplier or its means of production, sign contracts involving dates and conditions, imagining an intelligent use of electricity distribution and transmission networks, etc. All this while not losing sight of the primary objective of these energy communities. That of facilitating the deployment of renewable energy production sources and energy savings. And to ensure that everyone can profit from it equitably.

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Subject carried out in partnership with EDF teams

What you must remember

  • A co-ideation campaign focusing on energy communities was launched on the EDF Pulse & You platform beginning of November.
  • You are invited to exchange your ideas and share your experiences on the issue until February 28, 2022.
  • What are they? How are they organized? Will they need the support of the incumbent operators of the energy market? These are just a few of the questions being debated online.
  • From nice rewards await the most active and inventive Pulsers.

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