Coordinated by the Kelso Professorship at the European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Germany the SCORE project was funded by the European Union under its HORIZON 2020 programme, facilitating consumers to become (co-)owners of renewable energies (RE). Financial, technical and social innovations are essential prerequisites for a successful transition from fossil fuels to renewables. In order to balance demand with a volatile energy supply and to increase acceptance of new technologies like smart meters, it is necessary to build new energy infrastructure and motivate consumers to change their consumption habits. In this context, the consortium of 14 partners facilitated consumer co-ownership in RE first in pilot regions in Italy, Czech Republic, Poland and Germany and then in follower cities across Europe.
Against this background, applying Consumer Stock Ownership Plans (CSOPs), SCORE:
Facilitated consumers to become prosumers of RE and engage in energy efficiency (EE) measures, firstly in four pilot regions in Italy, Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic, secondly in 31 municipalities across Europe following the pilot projects (Follower Cities).
Reached out to more than 700 local authorities and 10,000 consumers demonstrating the positive impact co-ownership has on consumer behaviour and showing the ability of this democratic participation model to include underrepresented groups.
Empowered consumers and municipalities in a capacity-building program with more than 80 events both in the five partner countries and in other EU Members States and through the launch of an interactive online “RE Prosumer Investment Calculator”.
Delivered policy recommendations to more than 150 EU and local decision makers to promote prosumership and to remove barriers for consumers to become active market players at the EU and national levels.
The SCORE consortium in particular is proud to present five landmark achievements that stand out from the project results:
The first Italian hydro-power EC in Venaus practising electricity sharing over the public grid operative as of 27 December 2021;
The conclusion of an agreement to set up a regional EC in the Susa Valley engaging 31 Municipalities with around 80,000 inhabitants and a total investment of EUR 60 mln.;
The setting up of the Prague Renewable EC on 1 October 2021, one of the largest photovoltaic projects in the Czech Republic with a foreseen capacity of 500 MW and an investment of EUR 40 mln. stemming from an ELENA contract;
One of the first German ECs to practice electricity sharing in 2022 embracing an institution for disabled children, a public school and a sports club;
The development of an “Assisted CSOP” that permits the residents of homeless shelters in Poland to become co-owners in RE.
(Horizon Europe, 2022-2026)
While wind power is one of the fastest growing, most mature and cost-competitive renewable energy (RE) technologies, its deployment faces significant challenges due to low acceptance amongst societal actors. Factors such as restrictive regulation, disinformation, misinformation and concerns about changes to scenic landscapes, negative impacts on biodiversity, ecosystems and health impede the spread of new wind power installations. To increase acceptance, counterbalance “Not in my backyard” (NIMBY) effects and foster support for wind power, thereby enabling its contribution to the decarbonization strategy of the EU, the “Wind in My Backyard” (WIMBY) project translates the results of cutting-edge in-depth models to assess impacts, conflicts, synergies and potentials for development of wind power into practical information for stakeholders. Facilitating in this way their societal engagement is key for a broad deployment of wind power across the European Union (EU).
The interdisciplinary research field investigating the economic potential of wind power by investigating questions such as visual landscape impacts, noise, biodiversity or land use competition is relatively new but arguably represents the most important area to improve wind energy potential assessments (McKenna et al. 2021). WIMBY addresses this by combining high resolution spatially explicit techno-economic models of wind power potential development under multiple regulatory frameworks with models to assess environmental, security and health impacts, and those to determine potential synergies in ecosystems. Apart from a website, open-access repositories and active interaction in social media to disseminate these models, data and results, WIMBY follows a citizens’ science approach for dissemination supported through a Web-GIS interactive forum. The content and usability of this forum is enhanced via feedback-loops with stakeholders ranging from wind farms developers and supporters to regulators, citizens and associations showing opposition to wind power development. This Web-GIS, developed by the same company responsible for the Web-GIS of the New European Wind Atlas (NEWA), has EU wide coverage and does not only show the results of the modelling and assessments but includes examples of successful deployment and known conflicts of wind parks as well as options for contact and interaction between interested stakeholders and wind park developers.
On a community level, we study four geographically, climatically and socio-economically diverse pilot cases across the EU, where detailed modelling and an immersive 3D platform and a Multi-Criteria Satisfaction Analysis (MCSA) framework are employed in workshops with stakeholders of potential projects. The pilot cases include two offshore cases, one in the island of Pantelleria in Italy, and the other in the region of Rogaland in Norway. Onshore pilot cases are explored in Styria, in Austria, and in Portugal, where for instance, repowering of wind farms using larger installations is one of the most pressing topics in the agenda. These pilot cases contribute to raising public understanding and engagement with this form of energy generation and empower local communities and stakeholders. The selected pilot cases cover a wide range of geographical, technological and societal characteristics that ensure that the developed tools are relevant and useful to nurture wind power deployment and energy citizenship beyond the specific cases and that the experiences and methodologies applied can be transformed into guidelines and best practices.
As of 2022, the thermal renovation rate in the building sector is many times too low to achieve EU climate targets. The replacement of energy converters, e.g., heat pumps instead of gas boilers, or the renovation of compressed air systems in the commercial sector requires know-how and capital. FinSESCo tests the hypothesis that support for energy performance contracting (ESPCo) and for renewable energies energy performance contracting (EPCo) can provide a remedy.
In this context, FinSESCo supports the process of project definition, investor search, contracting and energy flow recording, quality control and payments via end-to-end digitisation. In a platform approach and using already existing data on buildings and energy saving measures, the definition of ESPCo/EPCo projects can be done with less effort. The gamified investment process with a competitive component and the embedded networked meter-based repayment process with secured transmission is complemented by machine learning-based error detection, which aims to detect lower returns in renewable energy projects in EPCo and savings in ESPCo projects.
The FinSESCo platform will include components for portals that focus on private projects, but can also be used by companies and across sites to build intracting solutions. The project explores best use cases and test acceptance and attractiveness among stake-holders, reaching TRL7 within pilot implementation. The competences of the partners from 4 EU countries + India include the development of energy services, smart metering, machine learning, the implementation of energy contracting as a legal construct and social research. The results of the project include the implementation of five pilots and a tool for interested parties to design a portal and test their suitability.