REScoop.eu is a European federation of renewable energy cooperatives. It seeks to promote energy democracy and citizen empowerment in debates on European energy futures, via four defined objectives:
- To represent the voice of citizens and renewable energy cooperatives to European policy makers
- To support the start-up of new renewable energy cooperatives and provide them with useful tools and contacts
- To provide services for European enewable energy cooperatives
- To promote the enewable energy cooperatives business model throughout Europe
It sees cooperatives more as a way of working than a specific legal form. Accordingly, REScoops typically follow the seven cooperative principles even if not formally constituted as cooperatives
As of early 2019, REScoop claimed on its website to represent 1500 member co-ops involving over 1,000,000 citizens. This is about half of an estimated total of 3000 renewable energy cooperatives in Europe. Most REScoop.eu members are in Western and Northern EU member states, although it also has members from Croatia and Greece, and from 12 member states in total. RESoop.eu has ten national/ or regional associations as members: Germany, UK, Netherlands, Flanders, Walloons, Spain, France, Czech Republic and Italy.
In general, renewable energy coops are most common in EU Member States with supportive legal frameworks for renewable energy generation. There are few in Central and Eastern European countries. The most likely reasons for this are continued association of the word 'cooperative' with communism, lack or absence of support for renewable energy production, national energy systems not having been liberalised, and most citizens lacking the means to make joint investments.
While most European renewable energy cooperatives started as producers, many have extended their activities into other areas, including supply (Ecopower, Som Energia, etc.), grid operations (EWS Schönau, SEV,...), energy monitoring (EnergieID), energy saving (Energent, Ecopower, Pajopower, ...) and electric car sharing (Som Mobilitat, Partago, ...)
- 3,000 REScoops are active in Europe.
- 1,250 or half of the REScoops population is represented in REScoop.eu (although we just accepted an association from Switzerland as a member, so our numbers have gone up).
- Our members jointly invested 2 billion euro in RES production installations.
- They have a joint production capacity of about 1,250 MW.
- They jointly produce 1,500 million kWh a year.
- They account for 1,100 employees.
- They have an annual turnover of 750 million euro.