Energy communities are providing a path for a fair, fast and responsible transition. The trade-off? The transition will have to be owned by citizens and democratically governed.

This is the basic proposal of community finance - providing tools for energy communities to scale and own up to their potential. The ACCE project is at the forefront of this effort to build a financing system that works for community-led projects.

Today the team of Energ'ethic welcomed our coordinator and colleague Stanislas to talk about energy democracy, financing and the cooperative experience. Stan talked about the experience of our ACCE partners scaling energy community projects through public and private schemes. The conversation started with the thinking behind community financing schemes and how we can mobilise euros to support community ownership. Marine and Stan covered the barriers to financing energy communities - how to deal with risk - and the solution promoted the co-benefits produced by energy communities.

Community financing starts with building trust for and with energy communities. Public financiers need to take a leading role to allow for the space to open. This should be done through providing direct grants as well as financial products dedicated to energy communities in the form of guarantees and loan-to-grant schemes. The role of public euros to rapidly scale the development of the movement is crucial. The policy tools are here and available both from national and European levels. It is not time for public finance to take a stand and to fulfill its role, and community energy networks (like EnergieSamen) are here to help.

The second part of the financing will come from private sources. To mobilise private finance, common goals and understanding need to be built between energy communities and financial institutions. We are asking the financial institution to recognise the strong local added value to community-project brings to the table and provide for the right financing solution for the long-term stable investment to happen. Community networks and operators are here to guide those investments (such as Energie Partagée).

The conversation closed with an inside look into the financing of an energy community in Brussels, and what it looks - and feels - like to deliver projects from a community point of view.