The case study examines Coopérnico, Portugal’s first renewable energy cooperative, founded in 2013. Coopérnico has more than 1,700 members, including citizens, small and medium-sized enterprises, and municipalities all over Portugal. Its mission is to involve its members in reshaping the energy sector to be more renewable, socially just and collaborative.
Coopérnico works to increase the number of citizens engaged in the decarbonized society
Coopérnico works with renewable electricity production, commercialisation, and energy services. The cooperative has financed 28 collective solar power projects, and in 2019 it became an independent electricity retailer for its members. It organizes informative sessions to talk about energy efficiency practices, participates in EU-wide R&D projects, and actively supports the creation of local energy community projects and lobbying at the national level to promote the view of citizens in the transposition of European directives.
Coopérnico’s members are generally well informed in matters linked to sustainability, energy efficiency, and renewable energy in particular, and they already take an active citizenship approach. Coopérnico’s vision is to gradually increase the number of citizens engaged in a more decarbonised and socially just society. To achieve this, it relies on spillover and network effects stemming from its growing customer base, and on its national lobbying and community engagement activities.
We will study how to lead already active energy citizens to bolder community actions
Our goal is to examine the processes that may lead already active energy citizens to take even bolder community action towards the clean energy transition, into what could be considered an activism-like level of engagement (advocacy). The case study is led by Virtual Power Solutions SA.