Providing clean energy and energy access through cooperatives

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Energy cooperatives not only provide access to affordable clean energy, they also create local jobs and allow people to decide on power generation and distribution. As value-driven, membership based organisations, cooperatives can empower and give voice to those who have previously been excluded from services and decision making.

This publication presents a collection of case studies of cooperatives from around the world working on energy production, distribution and consumption. These examples provide insights into how the cooperative model is contributing to bringing sustainable energy to different areas of the world and its potential for further growth.

The paper is structured in four chapters:

  • Chapter 1 introduces the model of sustainable energy cooperatives and shows the advantages that cooperatives can have over other forms of enterprise.
  • Chapter 2 provides a series of examples of energy cooperatives from different continents and developmental contexts to illustrate the diversity of size, scale and type of energy cooperatives. These examples go from a cooperatively owned micro hydropower plant to energy safety hubs or self-sufficient bioenergy villages.
  • Chapter 3 introduces policy and legislative frameworks that have created enabling conditions for the establishment of energy cooperatives.
  • Chapter 4 provides some outlooks and recommendations for the promotion of energy cooperatives, so that their potential for production and distribution of cleaner energy around the world can be realised.

Although the last two chapters are primarily aimed at policy makers, the introduction to the energy cooperative model and the examples in chapter 2 can be a great inspiration for those thinking of starting a community energy project.

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Whether you don’t know where to start from or you are stuck with a specific issue in the development of your energy community, an expert can help you.