Renewable energy communities (RECs) can be leveraged to strengthen social justice in the energy system, but bold policy actions are needed to structurally tackle social justice issues across the EU.

This is the conclusion of a new policy briefing, a collaboration between CEES and nine other EU Horizon 2020-funded sister projects that also work on topics of energy communities and/or energy poverty, which explores the question: “Can renewable energy communities (RECs) be leveraged as a vehicle to mitigate the energy crisis, with the ability to lift people out of energy poverty? If so, how and under which conditions?”

According to the briefing, to make RECs suitable for addressing social justice issues in the energy transition, specific governance and membership models need to be established. The authors make specific policy recommendations that they claim are crucial to tackling energy poverty and engaging citizens in energy systems. These concern the relevant legal framework, financing, technical capacity & implementation, capacity-building & awareness, and social capacity & inclusivity.

The briefing targets various stakeholders who could use its inputs and examples to draft future EU, national and local policies, and all people interested in the topics.

Read the full report here.

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The CEES project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101026972.