City Labs as positive engines for energy transition

24 April 2024




As an answer to the high energy prices and significant inflation across Europe. The European Commission is promoting initiatives to reduce energy consumption and increase energy savings to reduce the energy bills of citizens. One of the initiatives supported by Europe is the creation of energy communities to empower stakeholders to control their own energy on a local scale.

The oPEN Lab project aims at creating Positive Energy Neighbourhoods (PEN) in 3 European Cities, Genk, Pamplona, and Tartu. According to oPEN Lab, PENs aim for energy-efficient and energy-flexible groups of connected buildings and urban areas which produce net zero greenhouse emissions from energy use on an annual basis and actively manage an annual local or regional surplus production of renewable energy, based on an integrated, participatory, neighbourhood-based approach.

In this ENoLL session, co-organized with the oPEN Lab project and the Energy working group, we’d like to explore the barriers and drivers for using energy communities (e.g., PENs) as instruments for energy transition in city environments.

Target audience

The event is designed for city representatives, (social science) researchers, Living Lab practitioners, company representatives, and citizens interested in learning about PENs and energy communities. All ENoLL members and partners of energy projects are invited to join this session.


This ENoLL session will take place Wednesday April 24 from 10.00h to 12.00h CEST.

Event objectives

  • Strengthen the understanding of the use of energy communities as drivers for energy transition
  • Share best practices and case studies of energy communities in Living Labs
  • Empower dialogue to identify drivers and barriers for the adoption of energy communities


Online team environment

Session Details

Timing Description Presenter
10.00 – 10.05h Welcome & Introduction Koen Vervoort (ENoLL)
10.05 – 10.15h The oPEN Lab project and PENs Maarten De Groote (VITO)
10.15 – 10.25h Best practices & barriers from the Genk oPEN LL Pieter Bosmans (VITO)/ Tanja Croci (City of Genk)
10.25 – 10.35h Best practices & barriers from the Pamplona oPEN LL Luis Torres (AHA)
10.35 – 10.45h Best practices & barriers from the Tartu oPEN LL Merit Tatar (IBS)
10.45 – 11.00h Best practices & barriers from Life- Beckon Copenhagen Eik Buhl Petterson (Roskilde University)
11.00 – 11.15h RESCoop: a European network of Energy Community Cooperatives Sara Tachelet – RESCoop
11.15 – 11.45h Open discussion on barriers & drivers for energy transition and how can energy communities be used to drive systemic change Moderation: Koen Vervoort
11.45 – 11.55h The ENoLL working group on Energy & Environment Valentino Piana (HES-SO)
11.55 – 12.00h Conclusions and next steps Koen Vervoort


Speakers / Your Trainers

The session will be moderated by Koen Vervoort – Senior Stakeholder Strategist ENoLL

Following speakers are in the pipeline:

  • Maarten De Groote – Project Coordinator oPEN Lab
  • Pieter Bosmans – VITO
  • Leyre Iriarte – City of Pamplona
  • Kaspar Alev – City of Tartu / Merit Tatar – IBS
  • Eik Buhl Petterson – Roskilde University (Life Beckon)
  • Sara Tachelet – RESCoop
  • Valentino Piana – HES-SO


This is event is free of charge.

Registration form


Expected outcomes

This event aims to strengthen the understanding about energy communities (PENs) and the barriers they are facing, creating peer-to-peer learning experiences among stakeholders and enhance future collaborations and knowledge exchange between different projects, Living Labs and stakeholders.