European co-operators met in Spain on 20 May to explore the latest trends in the renewable energy sector, as part of the general assembly of REScoop. The meeting took place at the high-tech, zero-carbon Orona Foundation campus, which is part of the Mondragon federation of worker co-operatives.
The European federation of renewable energy co-operatives, REScoop includes 1,240 individual renewable energy co-ops and their 300,000 citizens. Delegates heard from Som energia has continued to grow to 35,000 customers, while in the Basque region new co-ops goiener and I-ENER have emerged. In Valencia Cooperativa Electrica de Alginet has not only secured 18,000 customers, but now has its own grid and is an exemplar of smart meter use.
REScoop and its members are working on a range of common projects, including CITYnvest, Nobel Grid, and REScoop Plus. The federation and its members have also been providing evidence at both the European Parliament and European Commission on the impact and opportunity of community energy. A representative from the European Commission’s Directorate General for Energy has also attended the meeting.
“We were informed that DG Energy is now drafting a new Renewable Energy Directive for the consideration of EU Commissioners, the European Parliament and Member States and that they anticipate it will empower consumers and remove administrative barriers,” writes Paul Monaghan, sustainability adviser to Co-operative Energy.
The event also featured the launch of a new cross-Europe crowdfunding web-portal that brings together seven platforms from six countries – citizenergy.