Which new community energy business models have the potential to accelerate the energy transition in Europe? The Horizon 2020 project NEWCOMERS explores this question in a consortium of 8 partners from 6 EU member states (NL, UK, SE, SI, IT, DE).
The project with the acronym NEWCOMERS (New Clean Energy Communities in a Changing European Energy System) started on June 1st and runs for three years. It is funded under the Horizon 2020 programme with a total amount of 3 Mio. EUR. The research activities are carried out in close collaboration with 10 innovative energy communities across Europe.
Using a highly innovative holistic approach – drawing on cutting edge theories and methods from a broad range of social sciences coupled with technical knowledge and industry insight – the NEWCOMERS consortium will analyse new energy communities from various innovative angles: (1) bringing in polycentric governance theory and the opportunity for learning between national and local polycentric settings; (2) using a business model logic to assess their ways of value creation and potential to be scaled up; (3) exploring benefits from the perspective of their members’ needs, while (4) keeping an integrated energy-systems view on their emergence, operation and wider diffusion.
Based on stakeholder co-creation, the NEWCOMERS project will deliver practical recommendations how the European Union as well as national and local governments can support new clean energy communities to help them flourish and unfold their potential benefits for citizens and the Energy Union. In addition, the NEWCOMERS project will provide a new online platform, Our-energy.eu, on which new clean energy communities can connect and share best practices while presenting citizens with opportunities to learn about ways to participate in the clean energy transitions.