A new report investigating the role of European citizen-owned renewable energy projects has concluded that over half of EU citizens could be generating their own renewable electricity by 2050.
New research carried out by independent research and consultancy firm CE Delft for several European environmental organizations investigated and analyzed the role of energy consumers as active participants in the energy system, or energy citizens — specifically, those households, public organizations, and small enterprises which could produce their own energy, supply demand-side flexibility, or store energy in times of oversupply.
The report’s main conclusions predict 83% of households in the European Union could become energy citizens — contributing to production, demand, or storage — while about half of all households, or around 113 million, could be actively producing their own electricity.
Further, the report highlights the increasing importance of these energy citizens to the successful transition to a renewable energy energy mix. Currently, the legal challenges and bureaucratic red-tape faced by those in the European Union who are looking to install their own renewable energy generation technology is challenging the growth of the energy citizen. However, the right European Union framework could allow the energy citizen to flourish, paving the way for a smooth and efficient transition to greater renewable energy capacity, and the requisite flexibility needed for such a system.
“This shows that people have the power to revolutionize Europe’s energy system, reclaiming power from big energy companies, and putting the planet first,” said Molly Walsh, community power campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe. “We need to enshrine the right for people to produce their own renewable energy in European and national legislation.”
“The EU should be clearing a path for forward-thinking, nimble energy citizens, not supporting big, polluting utilities,” added Tara Connolly, energy policy adviser for Greenpeace EU. “The age of energy dinosaurs is over.”
CE Delft compiled the report at the best of Greenpeace European Unit, Friends of the Earth Europe, European Renewable Energy Federation (EREF), and REScoop.
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