In order to achieve the changes desired for 2040, new spaces, tools and resources with which citizens can play a leading role in the definition of the Extremadura energy transition are needed, in order to facilitate the identification of the main social challenges in the field of energy and favoring the development of new, fairer and more sustainable solutions, paying special attention to the Energy Communities Models.

These spaces should serve as a unique meeting point between the main stakeholders in the region, boosting collaboration between them and facilitating access to relevant information to enable the active participation of citizens in the energy transition process. The resources and information provided in the spaces must be adapted to the characteristics of the region and understandable by all target audiences.

The urgency of the need

The main global trends and European strategies indicate that in order to achieve a complete energy transition it is necessary for citizens to play a leading role in the process, being able to produce, manage and consume their own energy, within a framework of social justice and environmental protection. In recent years, the increase in global temperatures, geopolitical conflicts caused by fossil fuels, and  social movements demanding greater attention to the challenges facing society and the environment have made it necessary, on the one hand, to accelerate the energy transition process and, on the other, to do so hand in hand with society.

The emergence of a system based on renewable energies favours a process of democratization in the operation and development of the energy system itself, offering new opportunities to citizens, public administrations and entities at all levels. In the participatory process of the Extremadura Energy Transition Lab (ETL), a large part of the participants considered it urgent to create innovative tools that favour the participation of all key actors in the decision-making process regarding the energy transition and, in particular, the participation of citizens. The creation of open spaces in which anyone can participate in decision-making processes on the development of new energy solutions for Extremadura will encourage the active participation of all citizens in the energy transition process in the Region.

Expected impact of addressing this energy need

The main impact of addressing these energy needs will be the development of new socially-led energy projects. Although the main target group is the general public, the other stakeholders should also play a relevant role; the academia providing the necessary knowledge for the development of new solutions; the industry developing these solutions and introducing them into the market; the government developing policies that favour social energy projects, and the environmental experts accompanying the whole process to ensure the lowest possible environmental impact.

The solution should succeed in increasing people's knowledge and skills on energy issues by giving easy access to practical resources and tools, as well as increasing  connections between stakeholders in  order to foster the development of energy projects that improves citizens' well-being and are environmentally sustainable.  The solution provided should also demonstrate that interactive spaces, communication and support tools help citizens' engagement in the energy transition, and support the process of creating,  constituting and developing innovative and citizen-led models such as Energy Communities.

Do you have a solution?

You can apply to RIPEET Call for Solution in Extremadura here.