Insights from the NEWCOMERS midterm meeting, 18/19 November 2020

Halfway through the project, the NEWCOMERS consortium had a successful 2-days mid-term meeting to take stock of what has been achieved in the first half of the project and to define the agenda for the second half of the project. This included highly fruitful discussions among the consortium partners as well as with the members of our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and several other external experts.

Insightful feedback for our future work was given by SAB members prof. Patrick Devine-Wright from the University of Exeter and prof. Andrej Gubina from the University of Ljubljana on the first day of the meeting.

On the second day, consortium members prof. Dave Huitema, dr. Nicolien van der Grijp and Daniel Petrovics organized a workshop on polycentric governance theory where inspiring ideas and suggestions were shared by external experts prof. Josephine van Zeben (Wageningen University), prof. Andrew Jordan (University of East Anglia) and dr. Thomas Bauwens (Utrecht University). The consortium profited a lot from the exchange with the SAB and the experts.

To complement the intense discussion about the research in the work packages, we had two parallel sessions, one on stakeholder engagement (led by our Stakeholder Advisory Board member Natalija Vrhunc) and the other on innovation management, led by dr. Dejan Paravan from GEN-I, the NEWCOMERS consortium industry partner. Results from both sessions will be further developed by the consortium partners in the second half of the NEWCOMERS project.

The final discussion focused on regulatory and policy measures to create an enabling environment for new clean energy communities. First, experiences from the CO2MMUNITY project were presented by dr. Henner Busch from Lund University, and afterwards our Stakeholder Advisory Board members dr. Roman Höller (E.ON Innovation) and dr. Danijel Crnčec (University of Ljubljana and Ministry of Infrastructure, Slovenia) joined the discussion and provided feedback about the status, advantages and challenges for energy community development.

As one of the highlights of the first meeting day, also the beta version of the Our Energy platform was presented by the NEWCOMERS communication and dissemination team, led by Mojca Drevensek. Our Energy is an online educational and awareness-raising platform about energy and energy communities that will be launched at the end of November. The platform will offer interactive multimedia content about a diverse set of aspects of clean energy communities, e.g. social, economic, regulatory and technological aspects. Subscribe to the NEWCOMERS e-newsletter to stay informed about the Our Energy launch and other developments of the NEWCOMERS and its sister projects: