energy communities

Reading time: 6 min

What are energy communities and how can they help us?

Sharing energy: Another step forward in the energy transition

Energy communities allow citizens, small businesses, cooperatives, and local entities to get involved and participate actively in the fight against climate change. Citizen participation is increasingly more important in achieving energy transition, and in this way, energy communities can be a great ally.


What do energy communities consist of?

These communities are legal entities that members form to generate and consume their own energy. They are considered another instrument in the energy transition and can contribute to local development.

The aim of energy communities is to enhance citizen-driven energy efficiency while creating a sustainable environment. They can be structured, for example, within a housing community, along with other communities, and even with local third-party entities.

The main activities in a local energy community include:

  • Generating energy from renewable energy sources.
  • Providing energy efficiency services.
  • Producing, supplying, consuming, storing, and distributing potentially clean energy.
  • Providing electric mobility or other energy services.
solar panels on the roof of a single family home

Differences between shared self-consumption and local energy communities

In shared self-consumption, the neighbors agree to and contract the installation of solar panels on the roof of their building to produce electricity and distribute it among all homes in the community. That is, they generate the electricity they will be consuming. 

Local energy communities go one step further. They form non-profit organizations committed to establishing sustainable and environmentally-friendly habits. To do this, they generate and market energy, seeking benefits for the neighbors and associates though the reduction of energy costs. 

In both shared self-consumption and local energy communities, the neighbors generate electricity from renewable energy sources. The difference is that energy communities distribute this energy to local areas by offering energy services, such as electrical vehicle charging.

Examples of energy communities

Although solar energy is one of the most common types of energy used in self-consumption, there are also other very efficient options, such as wind energy and biomass. Let's check out some examples of energy communities:

solar panels on roof of a house with wind turbines in background

Renewable energy self-consumption at home

Solar and wind energy are two effective, clean energy solutions for self-consumption. Photovoltaic solar panels can generate enough electricity for one's own consumption, which makes them quite popular. However, it's always advised that users have a battery or remain connected to the power grid to guarantee access to electricity in case of any incident.

In other cases, it's much more efficient to build a small wind farm. The installation of small wind turbines in areas where there is a lot of wind flow (speeds of at least 4 meters per second) can produce enough energy for a single-family home.

electric vehicle charging at a parking space

Electric charging for neighbors in the area

Local energy communities can offer electric charging services, so that neighbors in the area can charge their electric vehicles with 100% renewable and local energy. 

close up of electric heaters

Rural communities

Rural communities can replace fossil fuel boilers with those that heat plant biomass in order to harness energy from agricultural and forestry waste. Furthermore, this practice favors the cleaning of forests, the prevention of forest fires, and the development of rural municipalities.

solar panels on the roof of a building in a large city

Repsol Solmatch

Repsol Solmatch is a 100%-sustainable energy model that makes renewable energy generation possible for citizens. Solar Communities in urban areas allow consumers to save on their electricity bills without investing in their own installations.

solar panels on the roof of a building in a large city

Solar360 solar panels

The Solar360 service offered by Repsol and Movistar installs solar panels for self-consumption on private homes, businesses, and even to residential communities for their common area energy use. Thanks to a digitalized system, the user has control of the energy being produced and consumed. And any excess is sent to the power grid to offset billing.