Panel discussion at “Woche der Umwelt 2024” with input from WECF about gender and socially just energy communities in Albania.

Citizen Engagement in the Energy Transition: Community energy concepts in Central and Eastern Europe


On the 4th of June, the panel discussion “Citizens’ Engagement in the Energy Transition: Community Energy Concepts in Central and Eastern Europe” at the Woche der Umwelt 2024 event, organized by the DBU, brought together experts from Germany, The Baltic and Western Balkan countries to discuss the critical role of energy communities and prosumer concepts. The discussion highlighted the benefits of energy communities, like

  • promoting decentralized energy production
  • enhancing energy independence,
  • reducing energy poverty and air pollution
  • supporting environmental and social goals
  • active participation and strengthening democracy for a broad citizenship
  • regional value creation
  • flexibility, intelligent and customised local supply concepts for sector coupling
  • education and awareness raising on democratic processes and just energy transition

Legisative hurdles, high financial upfront costs and lack of political support were also addressed.

The event emphasized the importance of the currently running energy community projects supported by the DBU and the need for more projects, collaborations and research to advance citizen energy initiatives across Central and Eastern Europe. WECF is implementing the DBU funded project “Gender and socially just energy communities in Albania” with the Albanian partner Milieukontakt.

The outstanding of Milieukontakt’s and WECF’s project is aiming to promote both renewable energies in Albania and citizen participation in the energy transition, while at the same time strengthening gender equality. The main target groups are Albanian women entrepreneurs in rural areas, members of low-income households and young people. In training courses and exchange events, they should recognize and understand the potential of citizen energy as well as self-consumption and self-generation of renewable energy for individual action and implement it in their own activities.

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