Between the 4th and 6th of November 2021, “EXPOENERGEA”, the most important energy event in the region, was held in Don Benito.

The event gathered relevant stakeholders from the regional quadruple helix innovation framework, where a series of conferences and round tables on two of the main energy issues, relevant at a regional, national and EU levels “Energy retrofit in buildings” and “Energy communities” were held.

Seminars were held face to face and online, which allowed to reach thousands of people from Spain and abroad.

This year’s Expoenergea main aim was to address and answer the most pressing current questions that will guide the future development of the energy sector at EU, national and regional levels:

  • What will be the future role of RE generation at regional, national, and European?
  • ­ Could Energy retrofit in buildings be the driving force for the energy transition in Extremadura?
  • Is the energy sector prepared for to absorb the foreseen public investment to be launched at EU and national levels (Next Generation EU and PRTR plans, among others)?
  • ­ What will the role of energy communities be for the energy transition in Spain and Extremadura?

The event was introduced by Leire Iglesias, “Mobility, Transport and housing” regional minister of the Regional Government of Extremadura, with the intervention of Mr José Luis Quintana, Don Benito´s mayor. The main contents of the event (conferences and round tables on Energy retrofit and Energy Communities) where moderated and presented by Extremadura’s Minister on Environmental sustainability transition, Ms Olga García.

 The programme content, better fitting the goals and products of RESINDUSTRY, was actually the round table on Local Energy Communities held by Mr Cosme Segador, director at AGENEX, held on the 5th of November. The main topics tackled during this round table were the related regulatory framework barriers, the presentation of some successful study cases and the presentation of different citizen awareness-raising, citizen engagement and participatory methodologies and tools.

One of the key energy sector Stakeholders in Extremadura are Agroindustrial companies, which need to be first and foremost tackled by projects such as LOCALCIR, RESINDUSTRY and others. The main goal would be to support the Agroindustrial sector in creating collective self-consumption schemes, which present a series of clear advantages over the individual self-consumption plans.

On the top of the above, some interesting good practices/study cases from outside of Extremadura were presented: One of the most relevant cases was that of the rural, municipally-based, energy community in Luco de Jiloca (Teruel, Spain), where the first crowdlending scheme ever applied in Spain has shown excellent results and impacts in terms of financial viability, social acceptance, citizen involvement and installed RE generation capacities.

Another relevant study case was the presentation of the municipal Energy Community and self-consumption support scheme, facilitated by the Catalan municipality of “Prat de Llobregat” through its programme “Prat Energía”. This presentation was held by its municipal energy councillor, Joan Herrera.

The day finished with the awards ceremony, where one of RESINDUSTRY stakeholders, AGF engineering, was awarded EXPOENERGEA’S annual price for “Best company performance for its innovation in high-efficiency processes to generate biogas in plants with an optimal engineering design with its own technology”.

EXPOENERGEA has taken place thanks to INNOINVEST and LOCALCIR projects, co-financed by the European regional development fund (ERDF) through the INTERREG V-A Spain and Portugal program (POCTEP) 2014-2020.

Author: Beatriz Rico Sánchez and Alfredo Pérez Claeys-Bouuaert.