Community energy (CE) has the potential to disrupt the energy system and lead the transition to a low-carbon EU economy. In fact, it starts to become apparent that low-carbon targets cannot be realized without the uptake of community energy. In addition to displacing fossil fuel consumption, CE projects offer wide social impacts including increased acceptance of renewable energy developments, improved awareness of renewable and sustainable energy technologies and issues, faster uptake of low carbon technologies and sustainable/pro-environmental behaviors.
However, although it has been very successfully implemented in numerous projects involving solar and wind energy with an across the EU, its use has been limited both conceptually and operationally and this is actually demonstrated through the very slow development of community biogas initiatives. This should raise concerns as community biogas does not only add to the sustainability and pluralism of the energy supply chain but yields many more benefits as it is a movement about people getting power over their own energy, reducing energy inequalities and poverty while creating new jobs and fostering the environment deserves more attention.
ISABEL blends the key notions of community energy and social innovation and aims to surpass the current challenges of community biogas, leading the way for its market take-up. Furthermore, ISABEL aims to develop a more disruptive and innovation-driven community biogas environment whose existence and progress will not be connected to government incentives. As such, ISABEL works on developing an EU energy community that is united, open and transparent, learns from its members and members learn from each other, works to achieve superior goals and its resilience to outside change makes investments robust and attractive.