All over the Europe, citizens increasingly demand answers about pollution, climate change and raising electricity bills. This innovative EU project actually puts citizens at the centre of the solution, promising to bring benefits both for the people and the planet. This proposal is crucial in the midst of Europe’s efforts to decarbonise the economy and switch to a more sustainable energy model, while addressing social needs and reducing energy poverty.
Citizen Energy Communities are defined by the European Commission as legal entities, made of citizens, associations, cooperatives, local authorities and enterprises that team up to participate in the electricity system. The Lightness Project will assess local needs alongside with the residents to co-create tailored solutions to improve energy efficiency in these communities. Within this project, people can assess the benefits of investing in renewable energy technologies for their buildings and how to get the most of exchanging the energy generated within the community to reduce CO2 emissions.
“This is an innovative project, funded by the EU commission, that brings together the latest technological tools for energy monitoring and efficiency, along with the human aspect of engaging and empowering citizens” – Juan Espeche, Lightness Project Coordinator, R2M Solutions
This new energy culture will begin in 7 pilot communities with different climates, legal and financial frameworks, markets, and citizens’ environmental awareness. This way, Lightness solutions will be applicable to different contexts: 285 apartments in 19 building blocks in Wroclaw, Poland; 300 houses within three residential communities in Woerden, Helden & Delft, The Netherlands; a business park in Chambéry, France; a smart condominium with 8 apartments in Cagliary, Italy; and 15-30 houses in Alginet, Spain, with greater potential outreach in the village through Alginet’s energy cooperative.
Visiting one of the pilot communities in Wroclaw, Poland
Overall, Lightness will have a direct engagement of more than 500 households and 30 tertiary buildings, with a further potential to reach more than 70,000 persons.
Citizen energy communities aim to be the new and essential piece in the green transition in Europe. The Lightness Project’s added value is the true active participation of citizens in the process. This hopes to unlock people’s long-demanded empowerment in the energy sector, and the currently highly needed energy justice, environmental commitment and economic savings.
Find the press release here:
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No 953020. The Horizon 2020 Programme places emphasis on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges such as climate change and the just energy transition.