ECCO - Creating new local Energy Community Co-Operatives

Project Summary

Policymakers want to unlock Renewable Energy (RE) to meet their GHG reduction targets. Currently, they can only turn to the establishment of energy producers to realise their objectives. These traditional actors are slowly becoming interested in RE but are very reticent to share socio-economic benefits with the local communities concerned. The result is a growing public resentment (NIMBY) and a failing market for RE.

Characteristically, RE allows for distributed production and for involving local communities. Bio-Energie Dörfer in DE are the best proof of this: actively involving local communities in their RE production is a feasible way to address the failing RE market. Especially rural areas and farmers offer the physical and social resources needed for a decentralised, community based approach to providing RE.

However, emerging local community initiatives are presently facing barriers. They lack adequate knowledge (of finances, technology, marketing, and management), which prevents them from becoming reliable RE providers. Numerous policymakers have indicated, therefore, that an effective exchange of knowledge is needed to speed up the RE transition.

  • We aim to accelerate the growth of local Energy Community Co-Operatives (ECCOs), both in effectiveness and in numbers. We will achieve this by bringing ECCOs together and linking them up with relevant sources of knowledge from around NWE to overcome the barriers they face at present.
  • We will inspire policymakers and community groups to initiate their own ECCOs,
  • We will facilitate their initiatiation and development processes. By designing and establishing a transnationally connected Accelerator Network (AN),
  • We build the organisational structure that secures that the support activities are continued after the project has ended.

The large number of policymakers and organisations that have already signed up as associated partners to this project are seen as a first testimony of commitment to the results we want to deliver.

We start off bottom-up with the combined experience and best practices of 9 existing ECCOs spread around NWE. The transnational work of these pilots will function as 'beacons' for us during the project period and beyond to inspire policymakers and prospective ECCOs.

We will reach and engage 50 new ECCOs during the project, each producing at least 600 MWh RE on average, reducing GHG emissions by 7.500 tns/yr in total. The tangible demonstration of this potential will encourage other policymakers to adapt their policies in favour of ECCOs (20 policies expected in 10 years post project).

REScoop originated as an H2020 thematic EU network for mostly larger RE coopertives. The AN will make them well equipped to reach out to individual local ECCOs. This results in 500 additional ECCOs in 10 years post project, bringing the GHG reduction total up to 150.000 tns/yr.



26-02-2021 - 26-02-2021, Online

Presentation of the best ECCO from BoerenNatuur, the French Beacon ECCO ECP and an nice ECCO from Wales Read more

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From energy management to energy entrepreneurship

Posted on 01-07-2020

We are absolutely delighted that the EU institutions appreciate the results of our ECCO project and have underlined this by approving the capitalisation process for the existing EC... Read more

Greenhouse Gas tool

Posted on 01-04-2020

ECCO partners in Cork Institute of Technology have developed a greenhouse gas (GHG) calculator. Read more

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Project Partners

Name Contact Name Email Country
Cork Institute of Technology Ger Kelly Ireland
Philipps-Universität Marburg Markus Hassler Germany
Stichting Streekhuis Het Groene Woud W Thijssen Netherlands
South Kerry Development Partnership Ltd. Seán de Buitléar Ireland Dirk Vansintjan Belgium
Energies Citoyennes en Pays de Vilaine Edgar Wolf France
Agrobeheercentrum ecokwadraat Bart Schoukens Belgium
LochemEnergie (Coöperatie UA) Tonie Tekelenburg Netherlands
Zuidelijke Land- en Tuinbouworganisatie Aniek de Jong Netherlands
The Green Valleys (Wales) Community Interest Company Christopher Blake United Kingdom


The Green Transition and Community Participation – The Hidden Benefits

Posted on

This session was attended by some 50 participants from all over Europe. Local communities of citizens who jointly invest in renewable energy projects contribute to the green transition by producing more green energy and thus contributing to more reduction of CO2 emissions. These are the obvious benefits of citizen energy and citizen participation in the energy transition. In this session, the Interreg NWE project ECCO focuses on the hidden benefits and gains of citizen participation in energy transition in both rural and urban settings. This was explained to the participants by means of 5 short videos of examples from ECCO. Read More

Local ownership in Lochem Energie

Posted on

In the Dutch Climate agreement of 2019 an important sentence was added: 'We strive to 50% local ownership for large-scale energy-generation'. We made a movie (3,5 minutes) about the impact of this endeavour on LochemEnergie. We did that in cooperation with Castanié. Hopefully it inspires you, your cooperative and your country Read More

Discover the ECCO Time Line

Posted on

Community renewable energy cooperatives emerge from North West Europe in an effort to organize the supply of renewable energy, while at the same time empowering sustainable development of local communities. Emerging community energy co-ops often lack the ability to become part of the energy transition. They often face barriers: lack of financial strength, technical and management knowledge. This timeline provides a visual aid to enable prospective ECCOs to easily access the tools they need for initial development. Read More

Webinar 'Regional Energy Strategy and business parks'

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In 2016 Segon was asked by the province of Noord Brabant to write a vision for future-proved business parks. After publishing, they were asked by Lage Meren-Meilust, a business park in Bergen op Zoom, to make an action plan and to apply it. They now have more than three years of experience with this. In the Netherlands, they have a 'Regional Energy Strategy'. It imposes a number of obligations on the municipalities to regulate energy savings and to create sustainable energy. The business parks play an important role in the RES. Read More


Workhop Cooperative E-Carsharing

, Online

Citizen cooperatives which implement electric carsharing projects have emerged over the past few years and networking structures for supporting cooperative e-carsharing are currently emerging. Electric carsharing is a particularly interesting topic for existing energy cooperatives because it provides an opportunity to deepen their Co2-reduction, expand their activities and contribute to sustainable and inclusive mobility. But how can such projects be organized successfully? How can network organizations and policy makers support such projects? What are common barriers? And what are the synergies with existing energy cooperatives? To explore this exciting new topic, we invite you to join our free online workshop on Thursday, October 29th from 10:00 to 12:00.
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European Citizen Energy Conference - 23/24/25 of April 2020 - Frankfurt am Main

, Frankfurt am Main

Communities and people across Europe are coming together to learn from each other. The citizen energy community network wats to join forces to build together Euope's furure energy system that needs to be sustainable, 100% renewable, socially fair and owned and controlled by local communities and people. This event is organised by, Bündnis Bürgerenergie, DGRV and ECCO.
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You can read our ECCO folder here.


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