In Czechia, a citizens-based initiative for the development of small-scale renewables is applying for funding from the Modernization Fund. By doing so, it shows that a decentralised and democratic energy system is possible.
In a nutshell:
- Money from the Modernization Fund for citizens-based local projects
- Installation of small-scale renewables and support for energy communities
- Decentralization and democratization of the Czech energy system
In Czechia, there is a national network of Local Action Groups (LAGs) managed by citizens and covering about 92% of the country’s municipalities, aiming at the improvement of quality of life and the environment in rural areas. In February, the LAG network (under the leadership of LAG Opavsko) submitted a project proposal to access resources from the Modernization Fund, a key EU initiative to support the energy transformation of the Czech economy.
The goal of the project, 40% of which would be financed under the Modernization Fund, is to achieve 1kW of renewable energy per citizen by 2030. To achieve this target, the project focuses on the deployment of small-scale renewables as well as on the support for energy communities.
This initiative is a great example of decentralization and democratization of the Czech energy system. LAG Opavsko developed a model application with partners for small-scale renewable installations (photovoltaic, wind, electricity storage, water and biomass), including cost estimates, paperwork and schedules. The applications reached €1.53 billion with a planned output of 910 MW of added renewable capacity.
Initiatives like this one show that tackling climate change is also about practical steps at local level, and that even small, citizens-based projects can make a big difference.