Written by Mariano Votta, Tiziana Toto, Eleonora Di DonnaOn November 30, 2016 the European Commission presented the new energy package entitled “Clean Energy for all the Europeans.” The ambition with this package was to boost energy efficiency in the EU market, competing as a worldwide leader in the renewable energy market and ensuring equal opportunities and protection for consumers. In order to achieve these goals, the “Clean Energy for all the Europeans” package includes some measures regarding renewable, sustainable and energy efficiency initiatives, capital assets of electrical energy market and energy supply security. In particular, these legislative proposals aim to maintain the competitiveness of the European energy market as it transitions to new clean sources of energy.
As a rule, the EU Commission is ready to bet on the fact that consumers will be the protagonist of the future energy market. All the European countries will ensure better choice on energy infrastructures, equal information, new services useful for compared existing initiatives to consumers and the possibility to produce and consume energy independently (the so-called prosumer).
In order to stimulate debate on the role of citizens in this transitional phase of the market, the European branch of the Italian NGO Cittadinanzattiva, Active Citizenship Network, has promoted an event at the European Parliament entitled “The engagement of Citizens in Sustainable Energy: Sharing successful experiences across Europe”. The event, which took place on the 1st February, was entirely dedicated to existing energy projects and initiatives financed through crowdfunding and cooperative systems. During the event, policy recommendations arised from the experience of launching Citizenergy, and concrete examples from cooperatives and crowdfunding platforms working to help finance the energy transition were shared.
The event was hosted by the Italian MEP Dario Tamburrano who is a member of the Europe for Freedom and Direct Democracy Group and a member of the ITRE (Industry, Research and Energy) group.
This institutional event was organized by The Active Citizenship Network within the “Citizenergy” project, the ‘TripAdvisor’ platform for renewable and sustainable energy in Europe. During the event, the two winners of the internal Citizenergy Award 2016 presented their projects and officially received their award. The winners were Spanish:
- “Ecrowd!”, a web-based, peer-to-business crowdfunding platform that allows investors to earn income by investing without bank intermediation in transparent projects with a positive social impact. It directly connects energy efficiency and telecom project owners with investors that seek to make alternative investments;
- “Mar de Fulles”, an ecotourism center whose electricity requirements through photovoltaic panels with support batteries financed by people through a crowdfunding campaign.
The initiative gained from the contribution of the European Commission with DG Energy and DG Consumers, startups committed in the energy field, stakeholders and expert coming from European associations and networks that operated in the field of the renewable energy like the Italian cooperative “È Nostra”.