Influence of the LEC on local development, vulnerable families and schools in the rural area.
MUTI Associtation consists of a network of people with links to the rural environment, committed to sustainable development in economic, social and environmental terms. It is characterised by its desire to weave networks and public-private-citizen alliances. Energy soon became one of the lines of action.
The implementation of the line of action began with the celebration in October 2019 of a 2-day conference on "energy in rural areas", with more than 26 speakers and the attendance of people from 39 different municipalities. As a result of this conference, the LEC driving force was created and an agreement was signed for MUTI to act as an energy office “La Alterna” in the town of Arroyomolimos de León (Huelva) from October 2020. Derived from the work, MUTI trains schools in the area in the field of energy, highlighting that it has been awarded by the "Renovathon" of Greenpeace 2021 for its project "Energy in schools" which consists of an energy audit process of the primary school building with the environmental commission of the centre and whose profits will be reinvested in the school to continue improving its energy efficiency (50/50 methodology).
The creation of the bottom-up type LEC, between the Arroyomolinos de Leon City Council and a network of neighbours, including vulnerables, begins with the installation of a collective self-consumption system (shared municipal and citizen ownership) that will end in December 2021.
● Financial donations from the Unicaja Foundation (3,000€) and SOM Energía (1,000€).
● Assignment of spaces for office use and celebration of events by the Arroyomolinos de León City Council.
● Part-time technician (6 months) in "Energy Office" and hours of municipal technical staff.
Evidence of success
● Conference "energy in rural areas": 123 people (61 men and 62 women).
● Creation of 1 “La Alterna” energy office that has served 25 families.
● College: Creation of 1 monitoring commission
● LEC: Appears in 2 recent Friends of the Earth publications and has participated as an ongoing speaker on LEC organised by EnerAgen and the AEA.
● Financing the dynamiastion processes
● Lack of vision in the medium and long term in rural areas
● Verifying that each LEC is a model in itself
● Participatory work and the commitments and alliances that are generated are crucial to guarantee its sustainability.
Potential for learning or transfer
Rural LECs are very valuable instruments within a comprehensive approach linked to the demographic challenge, where inhabitants decide what energy they need for a dignified, healthy and sustainable life in their municipalities. The just, inclusive and democratic energy transition should be a fundamental vector for the backbone of rural communities.
Our commitment to the local energy community as a tool to make this possible is based on a triple vision:
● learning community, where to build knowledge about energy and daily life, highlighting the traditions inherited from the rural energy culture in a context of energy and climate crisis.
● community of care, where no one is left behind in the benefits of renewable energy in the framework of sustainability
● community of governance, where well-informed decisions are made and participation goes beyond the act of consuming energy.
This good practice is replicable to any region in rural areas.
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