A group of 13 residents of Tacoronte have come together to launch the first local energy community on the island of Tenerife, and second of Canary Islands, with the aim of generating electricity for self-consumption in a clean and sustainable way. At the beginning of this process, which aspires as an ideal “to add the entire population of the municipality”, they have had the support of the Department of Environment and Sustainability of the City of Tacoronte, who drives Carmela Diaz Vilela (Sí se Podemos), and the Office of Renewable Energies of the Sustainable Development and Fight against Climate Change Area of the Tenerife Council.
The president of this group is Andrés Hernández Lutzardo, and the secretary is Miriam Elisabeth Díaz Cruz, who details that this proposal arose from the Environmental Conference of Tacoronte, “In which energy self-consumption and the role of energy communities were addressed.” To begin with, the entity has residents from different areas of Tacoronte, «from the upper area to the lower area, although the idea is that many more people from all corners of the municipality join, since the ideal would be to reach one hundred percent one hundred of the population, and also to groups and small companies, to start up as many projects as possible to capture photovoltaic solar energy ». His plan is not to start a large plant, but to run multitude of scattered actions that allow the population to access clean energy near their homes.
This local energy community that was officially constituted on December 23, 2021, with the signature of thirteen people. The association model was chosen over the cooperative model because “it requires less bureaucracy and greatly simplifies procedures.” Its objective: produce energy from renewable sources and gain greater control over the impact of energy consumption on the cost of your bills. A cooperative could enter the energy market, but an association does not sell, it simply shares the energy it generates among the associated people.
Is about the first local energy community in Tenerife and the second in the Canary Islands, after the one created in The Palm, which was established in March of this year at the impulse of La Palma Renovable. “The citizens of Tacoronte have been the real protagonists of a very interesting process, which has not ended, but which finds in the signing and registration of the constitution of this association a very significant milestone, in a deeply participatory and democratic process,” he underlines the councilor Carmela Diaz Vilela.
For now, el City Council of Tacoronte It will not be part of the Local Energy Community so that “it is the citizens themselves, with the support and advice of both the council itself and the Office of Renewable Energies, who lead their own actions and activities,” explains Vilela. In the future, the Environment area It does plan to propose to the plenary session that the City Council be a full member of this association.
For the mayor, José Daniel Díaz Armas (NC), this initiative represents «a great step to promote the green economy in Tacoronte, since energy sovereignty is one of the first steps to empower citizens, both to abandon fossil fuels and to protect a territory that generates wealth through energy in the local environment ”. In his opinion, “it is great news that it is the neighbors themselves who show environmental awareness to take this first step for the sake of a common benefit.”
What is a local energy community?
Local energy communities are legal entities formed by a group of partners, who can be individuals or groups, public administrations and companies, which «voluntarily and with cooperative participation, establish among their objectives the obtaining of energy, social, environmental and economic benefits for members of a community or third parties. What distinguishes an energy community from traditional commercial energy companies is “its proximity to power generation facilities, its concern for the community and its respect for the environment; open and voluntary participation; democratic governance, and its autonomy and independence, since they must be controlled by the members or shareholders who are, in turn, the end users ”.