The conference "The Path to Energy Communities Based on Renewable Energy Sources" was held within the framework of the EUKI project SunSharing – Supporting Solar Energy Communities in SEE project on May 3 and 4, 2023, in the Moise palace on the island of Cres.
The conference gathered interested local and regional self-government units, agencies, researchers, PV project designers, and representatives of the civil sector, who share examples of good practices in the use of Solar energy using photovoltaic power plants, the early efforts and barriers to the establishment of energy communities in Croatia, and the implementation of crowdfunding initiatives for RES projects with the focus on PV plants.
Two panels, which consisted of experienced prosumers, local government representatives, regional HEP DSO, researchers, early adopters of the energy community concept, NGOs, and implementers of PV projects, discussed the details of barriers for the Solar Energy Communities currently in place in Croatian legislative framework, the role of the regional governments in the support of citizen energy projects and crowdfunding initiatives, as well as current opportunities in the implementation of integrated solar PV panels on public buildings and households.
Energy communities are an important tool to foster RES uptake in Croatia, especially in the context of prospective ownership of energy-related projects by the citizens through crowd finance, while also representing interesting research surrounding. Also, they are prospective support to the local power grid, in case they are allowed to be established on islands, not limited to only one transformer station. The legislative framework needs a rapid overhaul if this kind of citizen association is to become operational, as the current regulations resulted in 0 operational energy communities in the last 18 months in Croatia.
The event was held in Croatian, as it targeted local stakeholders. Overall, 50 participants followed the program live, on-site and online.
Details and materials from the conference are publically available on the website: http://het.hr/sunsharing_cres/