Denmark has been a frontrunner in the green transition, especially with the successful stories of wind energy. Both the City of Aarhus and Aarhus University (AU) have set ambitious climate goals. If these goals are to succeed in time, citizens need to be involved and play an active role. The AURORA initiative provides such opportunities for citizens in Aarhus, especially students and staff at AU, to participate in the green transition.
In the demo site in Aarhus, we establish the energy community (“energifællesskab”) by crowdfunding the installation of rooftop solar photovoltaic panels on campus. The community is set up as a solar cooperative (“solcellelaug”) following the Danish spirit of “andelstanken”. The cooperative, called Universitetets Energifællesskab F.M.B.A (UEF), is officially founded in August 2023 and registered with the Danish Business Authority in September 2023. Citizens in Aarhus have the opportunity to become members of UEF by buying shares in the crowdfunded solar installation. In addition to annual economic returns, citizens get access to energy-related public discussions and hands-on workshops in the community.