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03-07-2014

EU’s 2030 reform should recognise community power as essential to low carbon economy

The 2030 climate and energy reform process should integrate support for community power in EU legislation, or Europe’s energy will continue to be dominated by centralised power companies and fossil fuels. Community power means communities sharing and investing in their own renewable energy production, including hydro-electric, wind and solar power.

Environmental law organisation ClientEarth has published Community Power: Model legal frameworks for citizen-owned renewable energy, which argues that community power is an essential element in Europe’s low carbon energy transition. Currently, while EU legislation implicitly supports some aspects of community power, it doesn't explicitly recognise or actively support it.

The report includes case studies from Spain, Germany, Denmark and the UK that demonstrate best legal practice, and sets out 11 policy recommendations. It also explains how Member States can use existing EU Directives, and learn from other Member States’ success, to better support community power projects today.

Josh Roberts, ClientEarth lawyer, said: “Community power can help Europe to decarbonise, while creating employment and revenue to help local communities combat fuel poverty. However, with insufficient recognition in EU law, it faces significant bureaucratic and financial hurdles. The 2030 process is the EU’s opportunity to positively show it is on the people’s side when it comes to energy policy.

“The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says we need to change how we generate, use and think about energy. We hope that this report will be used at EU and national levels to improve legislative conditions for community energy.”

Source: http://www.clientearth.org

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