The Valencian Community is a leader in the creation of renewable energy communities with 85 ongoing installations, a figure that contrasts with the 73 built across Spain and where the investment and return exceeds 3 million euros in around 80 communities, according to one Declaration of the Valencian Association of Energy Communities (AVACE). The president of the collective, Juan Sacri, from the company Sapiens Energía, attributes this growth to the “strong commitment” made by the Generalitat since the end of 2019 to promote this type of community in search of energy sovereignty, according to the Efe agency.
The impact of these 85 energy communities goes beyond reducing costs or economic benefits, as their key value lies in the social and environmental impact in the immediate environment, putting citizens at the heart of decision-making. as indicated by European guidelines, says Avace.
The investment and return on investment of these fit-for-purpose energy communities in the local economy of Valencian cities is more than 3 million euros, with estimated savings for citizens and local entities of 922,500 euros per year. Unlike other initiatives involving large companies of the electricity oligopoly, for Sacri, single-purpose energy communities are “the only ones” committed to energy sovereignty, as it is people, SMEs and local entities that make decisions and play an active role play the energy market. In addition, all profits from the activities of the Energy Community are returned to its members.
What is a Purpose Driven Energy Community?
Purpose driven energy communities consist of neighbours, SMEs, companies and local entities. They usually have an associative or cooperative character, open participation and effective control rests with the partners. The General Assembly, represented by the members, sets the entry, management and investment fees, unlike other types of groups where large companies limit governance to maintain their power and remain as pure marketers. Sacri defends that earmarked energy communities are “the only way to ensure the democratization of the profitability derived from shared self-consumption distributed among small savers, facilitating future installations or activities through collective purchase or microfinance.”
On the other hand, energy communities aim to generate social and environmental benefits alongside an economic return that is 100% reinvested in the energy community, so the impact on the environment is direct and recurring.
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Avace sees the involvement of large energy companies in the governance of energy communities as a setback, as it maintains dependence on the big players in the energy market, who continue to reap the economic benefits in the energy sector alone, it said.