European Federation of Citizen Energy Cooperatives
|Founded at||Antwerp, Belgium|
|Purpose||renewable energy, eommunity energy|
|1500 energy cooperatives|
|General Assembly appoints Board of Directors|
REScoop.eu is a European federation of renewable energy cooperatives. It seeks to promote energy democracy and citizen empowerment in debates on European energy futures, via four defined objectives:
- To represent the voice of citizens and renewable energy cooperatives to European policy-makers
- To support the start-up of new renewable energy cooperatives and provide them with useful tools and contacts
- To provide services for European renewable energy cooperatives
- To promote the renewable energy cooperatives business model throughout Europe
REScoop stands for for Renewable Energy Source Cooperative. The aim is to strengthen the local economy, the inclusion of citizens in energy projects, making such investments accessible and care for local communities.
It sees cooperatives more as a way of working than a specific legal form. Accordingly, REScoops typically follow the seven cooperative principles even if not formally constituted as cooperatives
As of early 2019, REScoop claimed on its website to represent 1500 member co-ops involving over 1,000,000 citizens. This is about half of an estimated total of 3000 renewable energy cooperatives in Europe. Most REScoop.eu members are in Western and Northern EU member states, although it also has members from Croatia and Greece, and from 12 member states in total. RESoop.eu has ten national/ or regional associations as members: Germany, UK, Netherlands, Flanders, Walloons, Spain, France, Czech Republic and Italy.
Purpose of REScoop
REScoop's objectives are to:
*represent the voice of citizens and energy cooperatives to European policy-makers *support starting and established energy cooperatives and provide them with tools and contacts to help them grow and prosper *facilitate international exchanges and cooperation between energy cooperatives *promote the cooperative business model in the energy sector
In general, renewable energy coops are most common in the EU Member States with supportive legal frameworks for renewable energy generation. There are few in Central and Eastern European countries. The most likely reasons for this are continued association of the word 'cooperative' with communism, lack or absence of support for renewable energy production, national energy systems not having been liberalised, and most citizens lacking the means to make joint investments.
While most European renewable energy cooperatives started as producers, many have extended their activities into other areas, including supply (Ecopower, Som Energia, etc.), grid operations (EWS Schönau, SEV,...), energy monitoring (EnergieID), energy-saving (Energent, Ecopower, Pajopower, ...) and electric car-sharing (Som Mobilitat, Partago, ...)
History of REScoop
REScoop has started in 2011 and was legally established as a Belgian not-for-profit association in 2013.
Scope of REScoop
Community energy cooperatives follow a business model where citizens control an enterprise that works on renewable energy or energy efficiency. It's not only about sustainable energy production, but just as much about efficiency:
The cleanest, cheapest and most sustainable energy is the energy that is not used or needed in the first place.
The goal is to achieve an equilibrium between consumption and renewable production. Energy efficiency includes energy savings, energy sobriety and energy solidarity.
Iniatives in numbers
- 3,000 REScoops are active in Europe.
- 1,250 or half of the REScoops population is represented in REScoop.eu (although we just accepted an association from Switzerland as a member, so our numbers have gone up).
- Our members jointly invested 2 billion euro in RES production installations.
- They have a joint production capacity of about 1,250 MW.
- They jointly produce 1,500 million kWh a year.
- They account for 1,100 employees.
- They have an annual turnover of 750 million euros.