About this good practice
Western Macedonia Region is very strongly affected by the covid-19 crisis comparing to other Greek regions, due to a high number of affected citizens per each 100.000 inhabitants in Greece.
In addition, during the same period the region has already entered the post lignite era as it is the biggest territory in Greece that urgently needs to be supported by the Recovery Fund and Just Transition Fund.
To mitigate as soon as possible the effects of these two negative issues, the UoWM has coordinated the establishment of a Non-profit Regional Energy Community (EC), the biggest in Greece.
It was established in 22/1/2021 as a clear answer in the search for energy solutions to mitigate the latest years covid19 and energy poverty effects.
Its members are the 13 municipalities of the Region of Western Macedonia, the Regional Authority and the University of Western Macedonia. The aim of the Community is to invest on innovative RES applications in the region in order to cover energy consumption for: public buildings, water and sewage management, electric vehicles, public lighting and more.
The adjustment of the PI towards the enhancement of the Regional Energy Community can mitigate the negative impacts of COVID-19 crisis and of the decarbonization of the region: the energy poverty, the unemployment rate increase and the young people immigration and population ageing.
The initial capital of the Western Macedonia Energy Community is 96.000 €.
The Managing Board consists of 5 people:
the Rector of the University and
the Vice-Head of the Regional Authority that is responsible for energy aspects.
Evidence of success
The Energy Community, by its establishment, has some specific advantages and success:
1) The biggest energy community in Greece
2) It is funding a techno-economic plan for drafting a financial instrument for covering the public lighting and EV charging energy consumption with a single EC-owned PV plant.
3) Now drafting a business plan that will suggest the proper financial instrument per activity: public buildings, water and sewage management, electric vehicles
Potential for learning or transfer
The Energy Community of Western Macedonia Ltd was inspired by a Good Practice of FINERPOL project, the Plymouth Energy Community.
However, in the context of the COVID19 crisis and the followed energy crisis, it is proven that establishment of bigger organizations, e.g. in regional scale, can be more resilient and can also have greater impact, in terms of influencing central decision making and policies.
Also, the participation of Universities in Energy Communities can secure reliable technical consultancy and well-justified decision making.