One of the key activities of the Advisory Hub will be providing direct technical assistance to a number of rural energy communities that will be selected via a call for applications. The aim of the technical assistance, in the form of expert support, will help improve the development and implementation of projects in a variety of areas, depending on the need of each individual rural energy community. Please note that one rural energy community can request multiple technical assistance activities within one application.
Applications can be submitted by specifically rural energy communities; this is understood to be energy communities per the definition of the European Union (i.e. Renewable Energy Communities or Citizen Energy Communities) of which the community itself and/or its activities/project(s) are located in rural areas. The project uses the Degree of Urbanisation (DEGURBA). DEGURBA is a classification that indicates the characteristics of an area, and based on the share of local population living in urban clusters and urban centres, DEGUBRA classifies Local Administrative Unites (LAU) into three types of areas:
- Towns and suburbs
- Rural areas
If an energy community and/or the activities/project(s) of an energy community are located in an LAU classified as a ‘rural area’ per the DEGURBA classification, the energy community is considered a rural energy community. Consequently, the energy community would fall within the remits of the Rural Energy Communities Advisory Hub and be eligible for technical support. Energy communities that have activities related to the energy technology biogas (e.g. pumping) would be automatically classified as rural energy communities as well.
The technical assistance by the Advisory Hub involves the provision of a wide range of technical assistance services tailored to the needs of rural energy communities. Technical assistance will be provided in the form of extensive support (extensive tailored support when the mobilisation of significant resources in time of expertise and time is deemed necessary) or concise support (concise targeted support for straightforward and clear activities). The list below provides an overview of potential areas in which a community can receive assistance:
- Investment & financial advice
- Technology- and system related advice
- Legal / regulatory support
- Communication support
- Capacity development and knowledge transfer support
To apply for technical assistance, applicants must fill in and submit the application form electronically via EUSurvey. The link to the EU survey can be found below.
The call will be open until 31 December 2022. Received applications will be assessed in two rounds:
- a first round of applications will be assessed after 31 October 2022, and
- a second round of applications will be assessed once the last call closes on 31 December 2022.
- 5th SeptemberThe call will open
- after 31 October 2022First round of applications will be assessed
- 31 December 2022Second round of applications will be assessed once the last call closes
The application process is now open and the application form can be completed in any of the 24 official EU languages.