“Local development in area of renewable energy: energy cooperatives” is a project led by ORCA (2015-2016), which is focused on creating conditions for the introduction of the energy cooperative business model at local level in Serbia. ORCA aims to contribute an establishment of energy cooperatives in our country, by using research, trainings and stakeholder networks. Energy cooperatives may become a very effective mechanism to increase the percentage of energy coming from renewable sources, with respect to principles of environmental protection.

Energy cooperatives represent associations of individuals, entrepreneurs, institutions and other stakeholders from local communities, who unite their own financial and material resources, in order to establish ownership over the energy production from local renewable energy sources. Therefore, cooperatives which produce energy from renewable sources have an economical potential reflected in local investments, new job opportunities and revenues for local community. This kind of system increases energy security (decreased import of energy in local community) due to using available local renewable sources. Furthermore, it prevents energy impoverishment, that occurs due to high prices of uncontrolled and/or imported energy. At the same time, new job opportunities are being created. This way, renewable energy becomes a pillar of sustainable development, not only through energy-related aspect but also through economic, social and ecological aspect of community development.

Project main activities:

  • Research of conditions for establishing and developing energy cooperatives in Serbia through desk and field research;
  • Advocacy involving key decision makers to actively support energy cooperative businesses model in Serbia;
  • Networking of relevant national and international stakeholders in area of green energy and energy cooperatives;
  • Raising public awareness (especially of unemployed people) about the potential of the energy cooperative businesses model in Serbia;