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Communityenergy:
Whatisitandwhyisitimportant
fortheenergytransition?
Salvatore Ruggiero, PhD
Postdoctoral researcher
Aalto...
Communityenergy: What isit?
• In Finnish “yhteisöenergia”
• Various definitions exist but in general community energy (CE)...
Differentdegreesof citizeninvolvement
17.5.2019 3
Community benefit scheme:
Developers pay a fixed amount to affected
comm...
Whatarethe benefitsof communityenergy?
17.5.2019 4
The main benefits are:
1. Socio-economic regeneration
2. Increased loca...
Windpowercapacityincreasesconsiderablyina
low-carbonFinland
20.5.2019 5
In a fossil fuel-free
scenario, wind power in
Finl...
Acceptanceor Acceptability?
• Also the term acceptability can be found but is different from the term acceptance!
• Accept...
Doescommunityenergycontributeto RE
technology acceptance in all thecountries?
17.5.2019 7
(Hyland and Bertsch, 2018)
Accep...
Communityenergy inFinland
17.5.2019 8
No database available for CE initiatives in Finland. However,
considering that:
• 79...
Anexampleof “urban” communityenergy: The
Housingcompanyin PikkuHuopalahti
• In 2017, an investment in a solar PV system wa...
Thank you for your attention!
Salvatore Ruggiero, PhD | Postdoctoral researcher
Tel.: +358 504359025 | Email: salvatore.ru...
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What is community energy? Why and how municipalities and citizens should participate in the energy transition? Overview of community energy in Finland.

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Miniseminar 21.5.2019: How to improve the local acceptance of renewable energy – what can we learn from Denmark?
Presentation by Researcher Salvatore Ruggiero, Aalto University, Finland

Published in: Investor Relations
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What is community energy? Why and how municipalities and citizens should participate in the energy transition? Overview of community energy in Finland.

  1. 1. Communityenergy: Whatisitandwhyisitimportant fortheenergytransition? Salvatore Ruggiero, PhD Postdoctoral researcher Aalto University, School of Business 21 May, Helsinki
  2. 2. Communityenergy: What isit? • In Finnish “yhteisöenergia” • Various definitions exist but in general community energy (CE) means community ownership and involvement in renewable energy initiatives. • It is a very heterogeneous sector, common aspects are: 1. Citizens’ involvement in setting up and running RE projects through community enterprises, co-operatives, development trusts, housing associations, SMEs, etc. 2. A co-operative, democratic or non-corporate structure in which individuals participate actively in decision making 3. Aim at generating benefits for the local people 4. Profits returned to the community or being re-invested in other community energy schemes 17.5.2019 2
  3. 3. Differentdegreesof citizeninvolvement 17.5.2019 3 Community benefit scheme: Developers pay a fixed amount to affected communities. The community has limited involvement in the project. Equity involvement: Local residents can buy shares in a project. Participation in financial risk. E.g. wind projects in Denmark must offer minimum 20% ownership to local residents Joint ventures: Commercial developers and communities are partners. Joint ownership and responsibility for carrying out the project. Energy cooperatives or other local community organisations: Local communities have full ownership and responsibility for the project. They receive all the profits.(Hyland and Bertsch, 2018 adapted from Walker & Devine-Wright, 2008)
  4. 4. Whatarethe benefitsof communityenergy? 17.5.2019 4 The main benefits are: 1. Socio-economic regeneration 2. Increased local acceptance (Berka and Creamer, 2018) (Brummer, 2018)
  5. 5. Windpowercapacityincreasesconsiderablyina low-carbonFinland 20.5.2019 5 In a fossil fuel-free scenario, wind power in Finland would increase by a factor of 10 => How to ensure social acceptance?
  6. 6. Acceptanceor Acceptability? • Also the term acceptability can be found but is different from the term acceptance! • Acceptance= behavior that enables, promotes or supports the use of a technology (e.g. purchasing and using the technology or proclaim it) • Acceptability= attitude, specific mind-set or evaluative judgement of a technology (it can be local or national and can change over time) • Acceptance (i.e. supportive behavior) is the outcome of acceptability (i.e. positive attitude). • Therefore, to obtain RE technology acceptance one needs to work on acceptability! N.B.: Besides by ownership and participation in planning and decision-making, acceptability is influenced also by: • Place-related meanings and perceptions about landscape and noise • Owners of first or second homes • Emotions in various phases of project development 20.5.2019 6 (Janhunen, 2018; Huijts et al. 2012)
  7. 7. Doescommunityenergycontributeto RE technology acceptance in all thecountries? 17.5.2019 7 (Hyland and Bertsch, 2018) Acceptance rate of local wind farm in Ireland In Ireland, respondents were more willing to accept a wind farm with some form of compensation scheme or participatory model than without compensation (Hyland and Bertsch, 2018). In Sweden, respondents were more willing to accept wind farms owned by a municipality or a cooperative than a private company (Ek and Persson, 2014). => Involving citizens is a better solution than not involving them!
  8. 8. Communityenergy inFinland 17.5.2019 8 No database available for CE initiatives in Finland. However, considering that: • 79 REScoops can be found in the Pellervo’s database. Of these, about 50 are involved in RE generation • About 20-30 community energy projects identified through internet searches and the LEADER program database =>Therefore, in Finland the estimated number of CE projects is less than 100. • Most of the initiatives focus on renewable heat production from forest biomass • The majority of the initiatives are located in rural areas • More housing companies investing in solar PV
  9. 9. Anexampleof “urban” communityenergy: The Housingcompanyin PikkuHuopalahti • In 2017, an investment in a solar PV system was made to reduce the environmental impact of the housing company. • Initially, the solar PV plant was intended to produce electricity only for the common parts of the building. • Then the housing company joined the FinSolar project as a pilot case to test a new IT system that would allow the apartment owners to share the solar energy. • Finsolar received a permission to test the new IT system in cooperation with two DSOs and other stakeholders. • The apartment owners have a tax exemption on the electricity self-generated. • Otherwise taxes need to be paid on the electricity generated inside the property grid. 17.5.2019 9
  10. 10. Thank you for your attention! Salvatore Ruggiero, PhD | Postdoctoral researcher Tel.: +358 504359025 | Email: salvatore.ruggiero@aalto.fi 17.5.2019 10

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