Small is


Defending small renewable installations in EuropE

Small-scale renewable installations on homes, schools and hospitals are key drivers of the European energy transition. Yet, a proposal in the Clean Energy Package threatens to undermine the smallest renewables installations in the EU. In November 2017, SolarPower Europe initiated the Small is Beautiful campaign to support small-scale renewable installations and cogeneration facilities in Europe. The aim of the campaign is to safeguard regulatory incentives such as priority dispatch, for small-scale installations. The Small is Beautiful campaign is led by 20 leading renewable cities and citizens associations.

Bournemouth, UK - September 18, 2016: Beach Huts with solar panels at Hengistbury Head in Bournemouth and Christichurch Harbour - a popular tourism destination. Many people on the sandy beach and others sat by the beach huts. A footpath in the background has people walking on it.

About the campaign

In December 2017, the European Council proposed to remove priority dispatch and enforce balancing responsibilities on small-scale renewables. This policy would place small-scale renewable installations at a huge disadvantage, as small players would be faced with substantial administrative and technical burdens. Creating barriers for small renewable installations will set back the European energy transition and the EU’s vision of industrial leadership in renewables.

A balanced approach recognising the benefits of small-scale, clean, and locally owned installations will be key to drive a digitalised, decarbonised and increasingly distributed energy system, empowering energy consumers across Europe. Small-scale renewable generation installations are also major job providers – in the solar sector alone, rooftop installations could deliver up to 150,000 jobs by 2021.

Join the Small is Beautiful campaign to support small renewable installations by calling for a policy that will see small renewables thrive in Europe!

Small is Beautiful Declaration

Get involved #SmallisBeautiful

Share these posts on Twitter to support the #SmallisBeautiful campaign

Why do we need small-scale #renewables in #Europe? The #solar sector alone could create over 335,000 jobs by 2030 – small-scale installations providing the majority of these jobs while delivering affordable, clean & safe energy to Europeans #SmallisBeautiful #CleanEnergyEU

Investing in small-scale renewables is not just an investment in energy – it’s an investment in health, climate and the local community – reducing air pollution, saving CO2 emissions and creating thousands of clean local jobs! #SmallisBeautiful

#SmallisBeautiful because small-scale #renewable installations can help 183 million European citizens produce, consume and sell their own #cleanenergy by 2030!

92% of EU citizens see climate change as a serious problem - small #solar installations empower EU citizens to take action whilst boosting the EU economy and jobs #SmallisBeautiful

54 million European citizens are affected by energy poverty - small installations can give power to these people! #SmallisBeautiful

Quotes from campaign members

“If we want the motto ‘power to the people’ to become a reality in the energy transition, we have to minimise risks, costs and red tape for on-site small-scale renewable individual producers. European homeowners, co-owners and landlords are increasingly aware and eager to invest in cleaner and affordable electricity generation technologies, but they already face significant administrative and financial obstacles. Let’s not make things more difficult for them!”
Emmanuelle Causse
Director of European Affairs, UIPI
“Studies have shown how local, community-owned energy systems contribute up to 8 times more to inward economic development than bigger installations, often sponsored by external developers. The Small is Beautiful Campaign has our full backing and we hope it will help enact this principle into EU legislation."
Prof. Dr Eckart Würzner
Mayor of Heidelberg and President of Energy Cities
“Citizens and energy communities represent a different type of market actor. Treating them identically to sophisticated and larger energy companies would not only amount to discrimination, it would unfairly prevent them from investing in Europe’s energy transition.”
Dirk Vanstinjan
President of
‘’Putting the brakes on the development of small renewable installations will endanger the EU's ambition to become a global leader in renewable energy. Not only would this put a large amount of skilled, local and nontransferable jobs in our construction SMEs at risk, but would also threaten the engagement of EU citizens in cleaner energy.’’
Eugenio Quintieri
Secretary General of EBC
"The renewable energy market is thriving and SMEs are getting engaged at local and regional level as energy service providers. Small-scale installations should be part of the energy transition and will help enhance the overall environmental performance."
Véronique Willems
Secretary General of UEAPME
"Keeping the priority dispatch and access regimes for small installations as proposed by the European Commission is fundamental for empowering energy consumers and boosting investments in local sustainable and efficient energy solutions.”
Hans Korteweg
Managing Director of COGEN Europe
"To accelerate the energy transition, investor risk needs to be reduced. Exemptions to balancing responsibility and maintaining priority dispatch go a long way in achieving this. All the more so for demonstration projects for innovative technologies: the lower the risk, the faster they can be taken to market."
Rémi Gruet
CEO of Ocean Energy Europe

Small is Beautiful

in the news

In pictures:

small installations across Europe

Photos: Village in Bulgaria © Bulgarian Solar Association (top left), Integrated solar for House of Dun Montrose © Forster Energy, City of the Sun District in the Netherlands © frans lemmens , Centre commercial caserne de Bonne, Grenoble © Olivier Morin

Proposed EU electricity market design regulation

Campaign members

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