ESEK SYN PE
Energy Community of Karditsa (ESEK)
Energy Community of Karditsa (ESEK) is a profit citizen energy cooperative. It was established in 2010 to fulfil the vision and reward the efforts of more than 350 members. The main purpose was to foster renewable energy in the region. In 2019, according to the provisions of the law 4513/2018 and following the unanimous decision of the General Assembly, the Energy Cooperative was converted into an Energy Community. Members of the community are municipalities, SMEs, associations (estimated 8%) and citizens.
ESEK operates in Thessaly, an area with strong agricultural production. The continuous expansion of the local fossil fuel network threatens the uptake of RE heating solutions such as biomass boilers. At the same time, the region has a great biomass supply chain potential through agricultural, forestry and wood processing industries that can easily support the uptake of bioenergy technologies. The main activity of the Energy Community is related to the management of a biomass plant for the production of solid biofuels to generate energy for heating (or cooling) purposes. The first phase of the investment project has accomplished, an Energy Community with a solid biofuel plant which can set up the value chain for the local community.
A manufacturing unit for processing and standardizing local biomass and converting it into a commercial form, such as pellets, has been created. The raw material for pellet production consists of industrial residuals (sawmills) such as sawdust woodchips and logging residues such as branches, tops and stumps, coming from Forest Cooperatives. Partnerships with local authorities allow the Energy Community to expand the supply chain with plant biomass coming from Municipal waste (branches and tops of city trees).
Community energy is key to a decarbonised economy and a crucial step in tackling climate change. This is about more than windmills and solar panels. Community energy can help find a new balance between local economies and the global economy. It can help overcome the urban and rural divide, and close the gap between north and south, between rich and poor — because it empowers local people. Community energy leads to energy democracy, holding the promise of an economy and society based on co-operation rather than competition, within the boundaries of planet earth.
Energy Communities can foster a more efficient, fair and democratized transition to clean energy. Energy democracy ensures that the energy transition of a fossil fuel-free economy will take place in terms in social justice.
Energy poverty is the manifestation of social inequality in energy consumption and inadequate access to energy services, due to a combination of low incomes, high energy prices and inefficient homes. It increased dramatically after the 2008 financial crisis, affecting millions, and leading to the creation of many European grassroots movements fighting for energy justice and against energy disconnections.
Up to 1 in 4 Europeans live in energy poverty, representing 125 million people.
In 2015, close to 50 million of people in the EU were late or unable to pay their utility bills. In Greece, this was more than 40% of the population.
In 2015, 15% of Europeans were living in homes with a leaking roof, damp walls, floors or foundation, or rot in window frames of floor, representing close to 80 million people.
Up to 100,000 Europeans a year die as a result of a cold home.
European municipal guide
This guide will support municipalities to encourage and implement municipal collaboration with energy communities, or participation in energy communities outside public procurement, but taking into account the public procurement requirements and tendering framework. It will also provide examples from local pioneers to inspire further action. The Community Energy Municipal Guide will provide more detailed information about the topic, rather than repeat it. A lot of this information can be found on the websites of the different networks across Europe for progressive local authorities who want to be part of the energy transition.
Bioenergy is the leading technology in the EU RE heating sector and holds the highest potential for replacing fossil fueled heat. Thus, experts suggest that bioenergy can account for a significant amount of this market uptake potential and its expansion is crucial for meeting the above targets. The International Energy Association views bioenergy as the key RE for a less fossil-fueled heating sector towards 2030, while the World Bioenergy Association considers the heating sector as “the single most important future development sector for biomass”.
Bioenergy refers to all types of energy derived from the conversion of natural, biological sources (referred to as biomass) available on a renewable basis. Within our immediate environment lies an abundant source of organic materials (also known as feedstocks) such as plants, trees, algae, or organic wastes, which all can be valuable fuels as soon as a technology makes it possible to efficiently extract all of its energy potential. Biomass currently used in Europe includes wood from forests, agricultural crops and residues, by-products from the wood and agricultural industry, herbaceous and woody energy crops, municipal organic wastes and manure, and could potentially integrate algae and marine biomass in the future. Bioenergy is the only renewable energy source capable of providing heating and cooling, electricity and transport fuel.
Since 2020, ESEK has been participating in the BECoop project (2020-2023) which is funded by Horizon 2020 and aims to make “bio-energy communities” pioneers in the local production of renewable energy.
The ambition of BECoop is to provide the necessary conditions and technical as well as business support tools for unlocking the underlying market potential of community bioenergy, fostering new links and partnerships.
The project BECoop has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 952930. The sole responsibility for the content of this website lies with the authors. It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Commission nor any person acting on behalf of the Commission is responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.