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Catching up with Renewable Energy Cooperatives in Europe

On the occasion of the European elections, we have published a special print edition. Order while stocks last.

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Sebastian Sladek, standing in front of a gray wall.
Sebastian Sladek, member of the EWS executive board and publisher of the EWS Energiewende magazine

Dear readers,

our energy system is at a critical turning point. The effects of climate change are being felt everywhere and we need to act now, yet some people are still trying to sabotage the energy transition with half-truths, distorted facts and false information.

Our magazine, first published in 2016, has two main tasks: to provide objective, well-founded information about climate change and its impact and to showcase global efforts to drive the energy transition forward. The articles are commissioned by an independent editorial team and produced by world-class journalists and photographers, who visit the projects on-site to conduct research, capture images and engage in conversation.

Since 2018, we have been increasingly focusing our attention on European energy cooperatives and that which motivates us all: the desire to foster decentralised and solidarity-based community energy – in the belief that together we can achieve what we can’t achieve alone. These articles take us on a journey through Europe. We start in Crete, where a former mayor has led a well-connected solar cooperative to success. In London, we visit activists who are greening vacant land and combining solar expansion with projects for marginalised young people. We meet Spain’s largest eco-cooperative, committed to fighting for green energy, and take a trip to the Danish island of Samsø, where a husband-and-wife team and their peers generate more power than they consume. In Croatia, citizens are overcoming obstacles to harness the country’s vast solar potential. A cooperative in Lisbon is fostering solidarity through sunlight, while a committed community in Berlin demonstrates how citizens can shape the future of energy as grid co-owners. Our journey ends in the Dolomites, where cooperative efforts have ensured an entire valley can meet all its energy needs with renewables.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been catching up with the people behind the projects. In this special edition, they share the advice they would give other cooperatives, explain how the energy crisis has impacted their activities, and express what gives them faith in the future. After all, the energy transition is far from over! It is my hope that these articles encourage international networking and action – because by collaborating across borders, successful local cooperatives can help achieve real breakthroughs in the citizen-led energy transition throughout Europe.

I wish you inspiration and motivation for all your endeavours!

Sebastian Sladek


07. Mai 2024 | Energiewende-Magazin