Access to Capital for Community Energy – ACCE is a European project that aims to develop and scale up Community Energy Financing Schemes across Europe.
Community energy projects are facing specific barriers, which need to be addressed through dedicated financing programmes and products.
The Access to Capital for Community Energy (ACCE) project aims to investigate, develop and scale innovative and collective financing tools for energy communities in Europe. Building on existing knowledge and working to meet the need for capital to finance European community energy, this EU-funded project marks a new step in the successful energy cooperative work.
ACCE partners will look into the creation of successful funding concepts at European level: Community Energy Financing Schemes (CEFS). Moreover, thanks to a diverse consortium, they will bring together national and regional funds to support the growth of local projects.
The final goal is to build a “bicycle highway” of community financing – a financing infrastructure dedicated to accelerating the development and scaling of community energy projects.
The key objectives of the ACCE project are:
- To develop five CEFS in five target countries (Belgium, Germany, Croatia, Romania and Spain) to set up energy communities at national or regional level.
- To enlarge and expand two existing CEFS (in scope and capital) in the Netherlands and France.
- To set up a European intermediary to facilitate access to EU capital and funds by national CEFS.
- To commit 20 million euros to new and existing CEFS.
- To trigger 90 million euros of citizen investments through the creation of CEFS (referring to the amount of private capital invested in projects triggered by ACCE).
What is a CEFS ?
We consider a Community Energy Financing Scheme (CEFS) to be a financing scheme that funds community-based energy transition projects (sustainable energy, mobility, efficiency…) to overcome financial barriers that the community cannot overcome itself. The primary purpose of those projects is to provide environmental, economic or social community benefits rather than financial profits.
For example, in France, the cooperative Energie Partagée manages a fund dedicated to investing in community energy projects. The fund collects citizens’ savings, in the form of shares, to invest in renewable energy projects (solar panels, wind turbines, biogas and hydropower) together with public bodies and the private sector.
The ACCE project has received funding from the LIFE Programme of the European Union.