Feasibility study of gender-sensitive energy cooperatives in Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia and Moldova

This is an overview of the feasibility of gender-sensitive energy cooperatives in Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia and Moldova. In each country, existing national climate and energy policies are examined and, if existing, feed-in tariffs for renewable energy are explained.

In this report the energy supply and gender aspects are explored, with a focus on rural communities. The country-specific legal framework for (energy) cooperatives is summed up, followed by an overview of existing cooperatives in the countries. Overall, there is huge potential in the four countries to improve energy supply of households, economic empowerment and to make a contribution to climate protection using the model of an energy cooperative. Legal, technological, social and financial factors are considered.


Women disproportionately affected by negative energy-related effects

“Women still have a low social and economic status in Georgia and are disproportionately affected by negative, energy-related effects. Traditionally carrying out housekeeping activities, they often suffer from indoor air pollution caused by the combustion of wet wood and the use of other biomass plastics to fire up the poorly ventilated stoves, leading amongst others to respiratory diseases.”


Positive social and environmental impacts

Cooperatives for renewable energies can introduce new forms of socioeconomic organizations in the energy sector (production, distribution and trade) in which citizens are involved in all areas of municipal management and the design of energy resources. This type of self-management of energy sources and systems can have positive social and environmental impacts. Energy cooperatives offer proven advantages in many cases and are both economically viable and robust against macroeconomic instabilities. Not only affecting the energy situation, they contribute to the equal participation of women and men in decision-making processes on a local level. Cross-national knowledge transfer and experience exchange is crucial to establish and support the development of energy cooperatives successfully.