MAIA 3rd Policy Roundtable & 1st Workshop: Putting Energy Transition into Practice: Contributions from Territories for European Energy Policies

The MAIA Project convenes its 3rd Policy Roundtable and 1st Workshop within the framework of European Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW): "Putting Energy Transition into Practice: Contributions from Territories for European Energy Policies."
MIro board showing brainstorming exercise for energy communities

On June 14th, 2024, as part of the European Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW), the MAIA Project Consortium convened its 3rd Policy Roundtable and 1st Workshop titled “Putting Energy Transition into Practice: Contributions from Territories for European Energy Policies.” This online gathering brought together stakeholders from across Europe to explore the potential of energy communities in advancing sustainable energy practices.

The event provided a platform for participants to discuss challenges hindering the adoption of energy communities within the European Union, including regulatory complexities, financial viability, and community engagement. Representatives from universities, research centres, private companies, non-governmental organizations, and local governments shared insights and strategies aimed at overcoming these barriers.

Speakers included João Dinis, office coordinator at Cascais Ambiente, Portugal; Tara Esterl, lead of the unit Integrated Energy Systems at the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT); and Pia Widén, Green Party representative of the Åland Islands, Finland. Andrea Geyer-Scholz, partner at Smart Cities Consulting and Member of the MAIA Consortium, moderated the discussions.

Emphasis was placed on collaborative governance structures promoting transparency, inclusivity, and accountability in energy projects. Participants highlighted various tools and best practices in supporting the development, implementation, and scalability of community-led energy initiatives across diverse European landscapes.

The workshop “Towards a Sustainable Tomorrow: Exploring Options for Energy Communities” successfully engaged participants from diverse backgrounds including policymakers, industry experts, community leaders, and academics. Through interactive exercises conducted on a collaborative platform, participants collectively identified and analyzed barriers, challenges, and potential solutions for energy communities across Europe.

The exercises not only facilitated the identification of financial, policy, technological, social and behavioural, educational, and environmental challenges but also encouraged brainstorming on innovative solutions. Participants explored the nuanced roles and impacts of energy communities in fostering regional development, enhancing economic resilience, promoting environmental sustainability, and contributing to social cohesion.

Moving forward, the MAIA Project Consortium aims to use insights from the event to advocate for new policy approaches supporting energy communities. The consortium remains committed to fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange to scale successful energy community models across Europe.

Read the full report here.

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