Tentou is an international project aiming to enhance community power and community engagement in sustainable energy projects.
It builds on best international community power practices to stimulate a community-based energy transition.
Tentou’s partnership consists of five non-profit NGOs from Denmark, Japan, Australia and USA, led by Samsø Energy Academy, and is funded by the KR Foundation with approx.. $480,000 for 2 years (October 2016 – September 2018).
During the first half, the five partners launched a knowledge sharing process to exchange on the proper infrastructure and the processes that need to be in place for energy communities’ development and the involvement of a local community during the planning of sustainable energy projects.
They share information with each other, exchange good practices and provide capacity building, whenever necessary, focusing on the creation of local community power hubs for sustainable energy development within their regions. The hubs are meant to encourage cooperation between citizens, businesses, public authorities, and research and educational institutions.
Furthermore, they set up local workshops on community power and international visits, in order to strengthen the cooperation links and the knowledge exchange and networking opportunities among them.
During the second half, they will promote the streamlining of community power in sustainable energy and aim to establish in total twenty-five community-based sustainable energy projects within and beyond their regions. Their ultimate aim is to create leverage by helping establish new community sustainable energy hubs and multi-organisational partnerships around the world that will spread the community power concept further.
The Tentou project leader, Samsø Energy, will lead the work towards the mainstreaming of community power, by highlighting its business and market opportunities. For this reason, it is in the process to attempt significant fund raising in order to create the Samsø Foundation.
The Samsø Foundation will aim to innovate and develop tools for a community-based economy and eventually spread the community power paradigm worldwide. A first milestone will be to help establish at least 100 community power projects around the world. Tentou partners and other community power hubs will work closely with the Samsø Foundation towards these goals.
Preparatory work for fund raising has already started. Among others, a discussion has started with the KR Foundation on the replicability and scalability of the Tentou project and a first meeting was held in early September 2017.
Samsø Energy Academy, Denmark: Samsø Energy Academy has a world-wide reputation for being the leading model of sustainable community development, particularly in terms of local community divestment in fossil fuel infrastructure and investment in renewable energy.
Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies, Japan: ISEP is a non-profit NGO working with Japanese divestment in centralized nuclear and fossil-fuel energy infrastructure and investment in centralized and distributed renewable energy.
Island Institute, Rockport, Maine, USA: The Island Institute promotes an integrated community-input approach to sustainable development through six program areas: Education, Marine Resources, Community Energy, Community Development, Economic Development, and Media.
Embark Australia, Victoria, Australia: Embark Australia is the leading national community energy organization. Embark has substantial expertise in working with a range of stakeholders, including community energy groups, government agencies and commercial developers in order to research, develop and implement a variety of community renewable energy projects.
Sust ‘aina ble Molokai, Hawaii, USA: Sust ‘aina ble Molokai has been dedicated to creating a model of sustainability for Hawaii and the world. The organization is working to convert the island’s energy system to a 100% renewable system supported by community-oriented energy development.