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Interview – Spain

Raúl, from rural energy community Guzmán Renovable

Highlights from the interview held last March 2022:

“Guzmán renovable” is a non-profit association, recently constituted (January 2022) but with activity for a year and a half. The municipality of Guzmán is located in the province of Burgos, Castilla y León. Their main focus is the reduction of consumption, and they’ve started their activity by first generating awareness on energy reduction through the dissemination of energy information. They count with a key person for this activity, a professor and engineer of the UPV, an expert on the subject. They also have a promoter group (board of directors) and a wider group of participants. Their main goal is the installation of photovoltaic panels, producing 30% of what they consume.

Regarding energy sovereignty, they do not agree with energy sovereignty in the sense of “disconnecting” completely from the system. It is more a question of reducing as far as possible.

On their plans, they have found an important barrier: the age of people in rural areas. This has raised doubts, such as what happens if an elderly person dies (and it seems that they have solved it by transferring the rights). There is also a digital divide. For example, they use WhatsApp all the time, something that is not valid for many people.

They are clear on the sense that they do not want to participate in the electricity market by selling surplus. They do consider issues such as energy poverty and specific groups (such as migrants), but first they need to consolidate the first phase of the project.

No one has proposed alternatives in the sense of “more sustainable” panels that they can acquire.

As for the relationship with heritage, they believe that in their case, it has to do with the indirect protection of their initiative against the harassment of mega windfarms.