Consumer (co-)ownership in renewable energy (RE) has proved successful in engaging consumers in financing RE, thus becoming “prosumers” which in turn induced positive behavioural changes in energy consumption. Providing a collective low threshold financing mechanism for RE the Horizon 2020 project SCORE implements “Consumer Stock Ownership Plans” (CSOPs) in three pilot projects in the Czech Republic (City of Litoměřice), Poland (City of Słupsk) and Italy (Susa Valley).
Additionally SCORE seeks to respond to the European Buildings Initiative (part of COM(2016) 860 final “Clean Energy For All Europeans”) and in particular to the challenge to develop flexible energy efficiency (EE) and RE financing platforms at national or regional level targeting grants towards vulnerable consumers as laid out in its annex. In this context EE projects for blocks of flats can be a lever for consumer owned RE projects where the installation costs partly overlap with EE measures as for example insulation of rooftops and installation of rooftop PV systems. These EE projects typically qualify for subsidies to financing EE improvement of flats and municipal buildings and thus can cross subsidize also the investment in micro RE installations.
This paper demonstrates synergies between EE measures and RE investments via CSOP-financing in blocks of flats in Poland and the Czech Republic. Empirical evidence from Germany backs these effects of consumer co-ownership. Preferential conditions for Renewable Energy Communities under the 2018 recast of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) will support such schemes in the future.