Financing guide for energy communities
REScoop.eu and EcoPower, janvier 2023
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Finding finance for your community energy project is hard. That applies to all of us. Most of us did not start to engage ourselves in the citizen-led energy transition because of a deep-rooted passion for finance. Some of us discover their interest in numbers, fundraising and balance sheets along the way. For others, it will always remain the part of the job that just has to be done in order to make your dream happen.
Financing community energy projects is more than just making sure that the right amounts of money flow in and out of the project. It is also highly linked to questions like “how do we safeguard our autonomy?”, “how do we facilitate access to our community in a way that allows everyone to participate?”, “how do we see our community evolve in the short and in the long run?” and “how do we want to approach potential members of our community?” A financing approach that does not match with the philosophy of the renewable energy projects of the community and with the wishes of the members, will impede the development of the energy community.
With this guide, we want to provide you with a very first introduction to community energy financing. We strived to make it easy to read and hands-on by sharing 14 practical and recent financing stories of European energy communities. Each one includes key references where you can find more information. We would also like to thank all the partners that were interviewed for their time and cooperative contribution and hope it will inspire you.
We also know that financing is not the only barrier energy communities encounter on the way. More often than not, politics, unclear policy or citizen engagement represent greater obstacles to the development of citizen-led renewable energy projects than money. If you are struggling with those, you might enjoy reading the methodological and the municipal guide that have been developed in the SCCALE 20 30 50 project as well. They can be found along with a lot of other useful resources on the Energy Community Platform.