If we want to make a serious step forward in the transition to renewable energy and achieve the energy transition goals of the EU, we will need a large number of private investments in renewable energy. This is possible if citizens, companies, public bodies, and other stakeholders in the energy sector work together on community energy projects.
Through community energy projects:
- Citizens and organizations achieve ownership rights to energy infrastructure and renewable energy sources;
- Citizens take a more active role in the energy market (e.g. energy sharing);
- A new wave of energy projects and investments is ensured.
The path towards citizen energy projects is facilitated by energy communities, which are encouraged by the EU and national legislative frameworks.
Energy communities can be the key stakeholders in the EU’s transition to renewable energy sources.
ZEZ and the European Climate Foundation: Cooperation on the Development of Energy Communities in Croatia
As one of the leading organizations in Croatia and the region in encouraging the development of community energy, ZEZ provides technical assistance to the European Climate Foundation in the development of energy communities in Croatia.
The development of energy communities in Croatia is possible by:
- Informing and building the number of citizens, associations and other organizations ready to initiate community energy projects;
- Connecting important stakeholders and law-making related to the development of energy communities (with corresponding corrections);
- Modeling and testing energy communities within existing laws and regulations.
From the summer of 2021, as part of this cooperation ZEZ has:
- Created the Guide for Establishing Energy Communities;
- Organized the Community Energy Accelerator;
- Organized the Policy Lab on the topic of energy communities with the most important stakeholders in the energy sector in Croatia;
- Organized the Good Energy Festival, which brought together energy communities from the EU and the region.
Activities planned for 2022 and 2023 include:
- Creation of a technical document on replicable organizational / operational / technical models for mobilizing local communities through community energy projects;
- Providing additional mentoring support to interested initiatives;
- Cooperation with Croatian cities on the subject of energy communities;
- Continuation of Policy Lab: expert workshops on the topic of energy communities in the Croatian legislative framework.
ZEZ will implement this project until June 30, 2023.