Civic society is the key driver of the transition to renewables-based energy but civic energy still plays an underdeveloped role in the energy market. The project supports progression from niche to mainstream by enabling a shift of energy value chains from centralized utilities to community-owned renewable energy enterprises that provide tangible economic, environmental and social benefits to enrolled citizens. Such benefits include profit sharing, rebates, investment in social services, community infrastructure and climate protection.
A systematic process management approach involving local energy operations, innovation centres, municipalities, SME clusters and cooperatives will enable the mobilization of local energy potentials in representative NSR communities and generate sustainable business models for civic entrepreneurship in the energy sector as a means to greening the North Sea Region economy. Participating communities and regions will be supported by a transnational network equipped with the needed process management expertise for taking on a leader role in the transformation of energy production, infrastructure, distribution and consumption. Pilot business schemes will be implemented locally in the partner regions and disseminated as transferrable blueprints for guided adoption throughout the NSR. The project’s mainstreaming strategy takes off beyond the planning stage; it learns from civic energy innovators and focusses on the influential group of early adopters.