Expertise

ADEME supports community renewables projects

Updated 04/09/2020

French citizens are increasingly using renewables in their home and supporting production of renewable energy in their regions thanks to participative initiatives. Those community projects are supported by ADEME.

How ADEME takes part to community renewables projects

Even though the movement of local renewables production is new in France (the first “community” wind farm opened in 2014 in Britany), nearly 11 000 French citizens have taken part in community project the last few years. The development of such project owes much to the new 2015 French law on ecological transition for green growth, which officially enabled citizens and local authorities to take part in renewables production projects. More recently, in 2019 the Energy-Climate law increased funding options by local authorities. The funding of community project can be achieved by simple financial contribution or by active participation in project governance through injection of capital. ADEME champions this specific model of local governance.

The model of community renewables project encourage local incomes and helps raise awareness of both the transition and “energy sobriety”. It also helps, in certain cases, communities build project abandoned by conventional energy operators. In France in total, we count around 235 energy projects (mostly around wind and photovoltaic energy) run by local authorities.

In 2018, ADEME has committed 2 million euros to support the emergence of those projects through a multi-level strategy.
  • On a national scale, the Agency supports the French association “Energie Partagée”, the main stakeholder in the development of renewable energy installation runs by local authorities.
  • On a local scale, ADEME regional’s departments and the Regional authorities are supporting local organisations by funding their consultancy, facilitation, training and communication services… or helping project leaders within the framework of calls of project proposals.

New perspectives for community renewables projects

Since December 2018, the adoption of a New European directive for renewable energy (RED2) introduce the concept of “renewable energy community” (REC) to qualify the projects run by local authorities with open participation from people. This directive stipulates that government should carry out an evaluation of barriers and potential for the development of CER to enable the implementation of such projects. It also encourage member-state to facilitate the funding and facilitate the access to the market for project leaders in CER.

This directive have been followed by the French Energy-Climate law of September 2019 by introducing this new term and by defining a national strategy to involves civil society and communities to work closely with local energy projects.