Knowledge Cluster on renewable energy communities

About the cluster

The energy cluster is about finding solutions to current challenges: climate crisis, energy crisis, rising prices, households affected by energy poverty. “Renewable energy systems under new community ownership structures are being pioneered all over the Europe. The goal is to develop cheap, clean and secure energy by bringing power generation closer to the people who will use it. […] One answer to the global energy challenge is being devised at the local and regional level through clean-energy communities. These are groups of people that voluntarily pool their resources to produce, store or distribute energy together.”1

By creating decentralised systems of energy supply, households and businesses can exchange and trade sustainably produced electricity and heat among themselves and independently set prices in the community. As a result, there is more independence from large corporations, fossil fuels and price developments at the international level. It strengthens local value creation, makes a significant contribution to environmental protection, and allows local people to participate directly (social innovation) in the energy transition, save costs and establish climate-friendly lifestyles.

The European Green Deal’s objective to decarbonise energy production has been reinforced by the Clean Energy for all Europeans (CEP) package adapted by the EU in 2019. It aims to make a significant contribution to the climate goals in Europe and create a framework for the creation of energy communities (to be implemented at national level). In 2022, in view of the energy crisis, the REPowerEU plan set targets for reducing energy consumption, increasing the share of renewable energy and diversifying the European energy supply. Significant contributions can be made to these EU goals by rural communities.

1Barbiroglio, E. (2022). Energy communities bring renewable power to the people

Lighthouse communities

To get inspiration, check out the approach and smart ideas of two of the lighthouse communities: 

Stanz im Mürztal (Austria): One of the greatest challenges of the energy transition is the coupling of different energy production sectors and grids (electricity, heat) and the storage of unused energy. The construction of a new biomass heat and power grid in the centre of Stanz and energy autonomous village centre is being realised using digitalisation, blockchain technology and local (e-token) currency. If you would like more about the village through the geomapping tool.

Häradsbäck (Sweden): The aim of Häradsbäck is to become as self sufficient and resilient as possible with regard to electricity supply to vital services, especially preparing for block-outs due to weather conditions or other crisis situations. In order to reach its goal the village is planning to build a solar voltaic park for energy production and storage (in hydrogen). If you would like more about the village through the geomapping tool.

What is happening in the cluster?

  • Launch of the cluster (14th of February 2023)
  • First only meeting (March 2023) to introduce the cluster and its members.
  • 1st European Smart Villages Observatory (face-to-face) meeting in Austria (April 2023), including renewable energy community as a key theme.

How to get involved?

Call for the participation of rural communities on the topic of Local Energy Transition & Renewable Energy Communities

You can express your interest to get involved in the Renewable Energy Cluster by 28/02/2023 through registration link or please contact us through