15 June 2016, Brussels, Belgium
The Policy Conference is the most important European conference dedicated to sustainable energy policy issues. Sessions organised by the European Commission and energy stakeholders debate new policy developments, best practices and sustainable energy ideas, while networking events forge alliances. Awards for outstanding projects begin the week. CrowdFundRES is proud to announce its participation to the conference with a joint session with other EU projects.
Thomas Maidonis, CrowdFundRES Coordinator, was one of the speakers during the session: Towards energy democracy – Local authorities and citizens in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
An increasing number of EU citizens are taking matters into their own hands: they typically invest in renewable energy (e.g., solar, wind, etc.) and become members of a community energy project. Innovative business models (e.g., REScoops) and innovative financing schemes (e.g., crowdfunding) are emerging and will become increasingly important if EU Member States want to meet their energy targets. By creating a supportive legal context – including a decent support mechanism – policy makers can create a level-playing field for energy citizens to invest in RES and EE projects.
In his speech, the CrowdFundRES Coordinator Thomas Maidonis:
- addressed the benefits crowdfunding brings to citizens (e.g. higher rates of return than savings bank accounts, sustainability impact) and RES project developers (e.g. provide alternative financing for non-bankable small projects, increased public acceptance) and mentioned that project developers and citizens that have used crowdfunding seem to be positively in favour and recommend it
- highlighted that RES crowdfunding works in complementarity with other business models or sources of financing and that there are great potentialities of crowdfunding for financing RES projects given that prosumers and retail investors are now put at the focus of the Energy Union and the Capital Markets Union, respectively
- encouraged both RES developers and crowdfunding platforms to address transparency issues properly and concluded that auction/tender schemes should be carefully designed in order to make sure that projects involving citizens in any different manner are not pushed out of the market
Co-organisers: REScoop.eu, Greenpeace, WindEurope, CrowdFundRES, Citizenergy, PV Financing, CITYnvest, Community Power, Cooperatives Europe, Energy Cities, Climate Alliance, ICLEI and Housing Europe.