Last September, in Paris, we launched SCCALE 20-30-50 Helpdesk to help established and incipient energy communities exchange knowledge. Project partners and experts gathered in the Bassin de la Villette for a two-day event that include the visit of Halle Pajol, an old train repair warehouse, now one of Paris’ biggest solar power installations!
During the latest project meeting in Paris, a group of community energy enthusiasts came together to kickstart the Community Energy Helpdesk. With this Helpdesk, we will create a space for those with experience setting up energy communities to help others who are getting started.
Who is behind the Community Energy Helpdesk?
The experts of this Helpdesk are in large part working with the SCCALE pilots in France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Greece and Croatia. We have also invited other experts from different cities in the SCCALE countries to bring in different perspectives. SCCALE partners work on setting up pilot communities in their cities, while supporting sites in their areas to replicate their pilots’ models. The meeting in Paris was the first opportunity for the experts to meet and mingle with different actors from the replication sites.
We want to rely on local people who have the experience to help others set up their own energy communities – that is what the energy community helpdesk is about – Daan Creupelandt, coordinator of SCCALE 20-30-50 Project
Exchanging Knowledge: getting to know the pilot sites
Following the official launch of the Helpdesk, we got to know the different pilot sites in an interactive and dynamic way. At the centre of the stage, we put into motion a dialogue and exchange between members of the different pilot sites. Others could jump in and join the conversation.
As pilot members discussed their approaches to training, co creation and governance, other members of the Helpdesk could intervene to share their experience or raise questions. Through these conversations, the different pilot members tackled questions around:
- Professionalisation versus working with volunteers
- Which training methods and tools to use
- Communications channels
- Ways of engaging and maintaining members’ involvement
Other essential topics that all energy communities must deal with were also included in the conversation.
The discussion brought to light diverging models and approaches. For example, Licht Leuven has very structured and tiered models of training, while Hyperion has more organic way of passing knowledge. The Economes presented some more innovative approaches using gamification. While discussing co-creation and models of governance, we also face different situations due to very divergent pilots in size, scope and activity, offering a wide range of examples to find guidance and inspiration.
This exercise, along with the speakers at the launch, highlighted the richness and scope of the experts involved in our project: new energy communities will find someone from the Helpdesk to guide them in their process.
Finding Inspiration: study visit to Halle Pajol
These conversations were complemented by a Study Visit for all members of the Helpdesk to solar panel project, Halle Pajol. Located a few minutes away from our meeting location, Halle Pajol is an old train repair warehouse, now one of Paris’ biggest solar power installations, with 500 kw peek installed.
Everyone was inspired by this visit. We are sure it motivated the communities to explore the different possibilities and financing models for their projects.
You want to start an energy community but don’t know where to begin? Express your interest in the Helpdesk
Interested in knowing more about SCCALE 20-30-50 project? Follow #SCCALE203050 on Social Media!