Co-producing and co-financing renewable community energy projects

October 2017 -
September 2020

2. Natural resources 2.2 Renewable energy


When citizens join forces to set up, finance and manage energy production based on renewables in their region, we call it renewable community energy. The project gives municipalities, regional energy planning agencies and citizens’ associations across the Baltic Sea region the information they need to start and run community energy projects in their regions.



What is community energy?

Community energy projects offer enhanced production of renewable energies from local sources such as wind, solar, biomass, hydropower or geothermal through active participation of local communities. Together, citizens co-finance, co-develop, and co-operate renewable energy plants, and foster sustainable energy distribution, like local heating networks or biogas filling stations. Through active communication, transparent decision-making, and local benefit sharing community energy projects have high social acceptance. Consequently, fostering community energy projects is highly promising for increasing the share of renewable energies in the Baltic Sea region.


Who benefits from our project?

No comprehensive documents about community energy exist in the Baltic Sea region. Co2mmunity’s objectives are to create this community energy knowledge base and to enhance the institutional capacities of Municipalities, institutions responsible for regional energy planning, political decision-makers, and energy and citizen’s associations for facilitating community energy projects.


What do we do?

Core to our approach are renewable energy cooperative partnerships (RENCOP) that initiate and support community energy projects. In each partner region Co2mmunity initiates and manages a RENCOP. A transnational exchange of RENCOPs results in a transferable RENCOP model/roadmap, enabling a transnational catch-up process between frontrunners and followers as well as enhancing the capacity of local, regional and region-wide actors to foster community energy. Beyond this, we develop a synthesis report on the current community energy situation in the Baltic Sea Region, including a best practice compilation. It showcases success factors of community energy projects that are transferable across contexts. We also develop locally specific community energy handbooks and white papers for public stakeholders.

Highlights by mid-term:

The partners established nine renewable energy cooperative partnerships (RENCOPs) across the Baltic Sea region. These partnerships piloted two cooperation models to stimulate community renewable energy projects: driven by experts or by citizens. Almost all the RENCOPs got a reginal dimension. A partnership in Schleswig-Holstein in Germany initiated a cooperative on wind energy production. Middelfart in Denmark focused on ground source heat pumps. Uusimaa in Finland went for hybrid system of ground source heat pumps and solar panels, while Finnish South Ostrobothnia – biomass micro combined heat and power. Marupe in Latvia selected solar panels. Kaunas region in Lithuania chose a rooftop solar photovoltaic system, while Southeast Sweden – a grid-connected solar photovoltaic system. Two RENCOPs had the country dimension. Estonia focused on solar panel energy; and Poland went for solar, bio energy, wind, geothermal, energy storage.

Project Stories


€ 3.15
€ 2.45
Eni + Russia
€ 0.00
€ 0.00



Project manager

Kiel University

Robert Hassink

00 494 318 802 951

Legal representative

Kiel University

Linda Pialek

494 318 804 811

Financial manager

Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel; Service Centre for Research, IT and Strategic Innovation

Linda Pialek

494 318 804 811

Communication manager

Kiel University

Gerlind Wagner-Vogel

0049 431 8804029