In June 2018, the European Union agreed on a corresponding enabling framework as part of a recast of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II). The transposition of these comprehensive rules – in particular those on local RE communities – requires developing, implementing and rolling out business models that broaden the capital participation of consumers. The challenge is to include municipalities and/or commercial investors, and to advance to economies of scale while retaining the benefits of individual consumer participation.
This book (published January 2019) is addressed to energy consumers in local communities, their municipalities and to the policy makers who represent them. Additionally, non-EU countries, in particular those where rural areas have limited access to energy, such as in Asia, Africa and Latin America, might be interested in the benefits of consumer ownership. While demand for energy in developing countries is growing, access to energy is crucial for improving the quality of life.
The editor of this book presents a new model of consumer ownership in renewable energy for both the EU and countries worldwide. Part One describes the rationale for consumer ownership in renewable energy with regard to social, organisational, legal and financial conditions. Part Two discusses the issue of financing renewable energy and introduces a new financing technique, the Consumer Stock Ownership Plan (CSOP), comparing it to traditional models. Part Three provides 18 country studies from Europe, North America, South America and Asia, organized to enable a cross-country comparison of policy approaches and feasibility. Policy recommendations are based on the results of this survey. Part Four summarises, compares the best practice cases, presents a cost-benefit analysis of “prosumage” and against this background evaluates the impact on future policy.
By: Jens Lowitzsch, European University Viadrina, Germany