At the Intensify project thematic event in Dessau, Germany, Daan Creuptelandt, co-ordinator with the RESCOOP project outlined the  importance of finance in delivery successful energy efficiency improvement works and renewable energy infrastructure in local communities. The RESCOOP project puts citizens at the centre of the investment in renewable energy technologies. Citizens will pay either way for all measures required to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. They will pay directly for the infrastructure or they will pay indirectly through taxes and as consumers. Rescoop believes that energy cooperatives will lead the charge towards energy democracy. The renewable energy market will become decentralised with millions of active energy citizens producing and consuming their own energy. These citizens will be known as PROSUMERS and without them the transition to a zero carbon future will not be possible.

Daan Highlighted the many challenges facing prosumers particularly when they cooperate together in small groups to become positive energy districts. These include legal restrictions, punitive tariffs when accessing the electricity grid and planning obstacles. Despite these challenges RESCOOP has a membership of over 1400 cooperatives and offers advice support and advocacy to assist them in developing their renewable energy cooperatives.

REScoop recognises that the Paris Agreement places a considerable burden on local governments to reduce carbon emissions by 2050. Daan concluded by saying that Local Authorities and REScoop were natural allies in this endeavour.

RESCoop is an excellent example of communities intensifying their efforts to become carbon free in their activities through financial investments.

For more information on REScoop visit their website