Georgian Energy Cooperatives joined forces and created umbrella cooperative for a more effective Gender Sensitive Energy Transition
WECF and partners organised workshop on Energy Cooperatives and Solar Technology in rural Georgia
September 24, 2016
From 23 to 25 September, a workshop on Energy Cooperatives and Solar Technology took place in Misaktsieli, Georgia. The workshop was a follow up on previous founding and developmental workshops for Georgian energy cooperatives. Taking part in the workshop were members of four recently founded founded Energy cooperatives alongside experts from WECF, German Solar Partner Sued and Belgian Cooperative Energy 2030.
The four Georgian energy cooperatives focuss on the production and marketing of solar water heaters. German experts explained technical details on solar thermal technology and further discussion took place in order to be able to elaborate the quality of the product specifically for the Georgian market. The experience exchange was fruitful for everyone. The existing solar water heaters are working very well, and clients are satisfied, but lack of effective marketing has resulted in sales levels remaining below expectations.
One main outcome of the workshop was the the foundation of an umbrella cooperative. The idea is to unify the forces of the four Georgian cooperatives regarding purchase of materials, production and sales, and support in this way joint promotion of the product. European partners will be able to become members, pay their shares and enjoy dividends.
As a result, tasks and further steps have been defined among the member cooperatives, and Georgian cooperative representatives with support of WECF will be working together on the statutes, on a concept and on a business plan, making sure the umbrella cooperative can be launched fairly soon.
The workshop took place in the frame of the project „Workshop on Gender-sensitive Energy Cooperatives in Georgia “ with financial support of the Heinrich Boell foundation, Raja foundation, the Auswärtiges Amt, Urbis Foundation, Elektrizätswerke Schönau und GLS Stiftung Neue Energie.