Empowering citizens in the energy transition through participation in local renewable energy projects

17 December 2020 - Published by Dominique Dhondt
Solar panels, windmills, district heating: wherever energy will be generated in the near future, half of it will come from installations in the hands of citizens. At least that is the ambition formulated by the seven regional municipalities in IJmond and South Kennemerland in the Regional Energy Strategy 'RES': 50% of sustainable energy generation should be locally owned. This requires close cooperation between municipalities and local energy initiatives of its inhabitants. How do you achieve this?

During the online meeting 'Introduction Regional Energy Participation' on November 10th, the first steps were taken to achieve this. How do you find available roofs? And what are the developments of the postcode rose (Dutch regulation with energy tax reduction for participating citizens)? How can we promote civic participation and sustainable regional energy generation together? For energy cooperatives and municipalities this is an enormous opportunity and at the same time a considerable challenge. The Kennemerland region expects the generation of solar and wind energy, among other things, to almost quadruple over the next ten years: from 0.7 TWh now to 2.7 TWh in 2030.

More than thirty participants gathered online, mainly regional energy cooperatives and civil servants. They shared the Kennemer experiences from the EU Empower programme (Kennemer Kracht cooperative and Stichting Stadsgarage) and the toolkit (Hogeschool van Amsterdam). They received an update on the Postcoderoos scheme (Energie Samen cooperative) and were inspired by the introduction of the Velsen alderman for Climate and Sustainability -Sebastian Dinjens - on the importance of regional cooperation, in several networking sessions on the possible approach of a new 'RES-location' (municipality of Haarlem).

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