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Clean energy for EU islands
25 June 2024

Energy Community and Factory Collaboration Sparks Hope in Sustainable Industry

solar panels

La Palma, Canary Islands – In an inspiring development, Energía Bonita, the energy community of La Palma island, has partnered with the Collettivo di Fabbrica, a workers' cooperative in Italy, to promote sustainable industry. This collaboration aims to transform a closed car factory in Florence into a production hub for low-impact photovoltaic panels and electric cargo bikes.

Energía Bonita, which has already installed a 100 kW photovoltaic plant for its more than 200 members, is committed to minimising environmental and social impacts. The community plans to install additional plants across the island in the coming months, aiming for 20 collective self-consumption facilities of 100 kW each.

Collettivo di Fabbrica, formed by the workers of the former GKN automotive components factory, has been fighting to keep their jobs and transform the factory. They envision a cooperative model producing environmentally friendly products. This transition has garnered strong local support, evidenced by their large demonstrations and community efforts, such as assisting in storm Ciaran's aftermath.

The collaboration between Energía Bonita and Collettivo di Fabbrica, dubbed 'La Fábrica Bonita,' was facilitated by the Debt Observatory in Globalisation (ODG), a Catalan organization that works on financial and climate justice and the defence of the commons from an ecofeminist perspective. After a series of meetings, the energy community agreed to sign a memorandum of commitment with the Italian cooperative in April.

This agreement is a significant step towards a sustainable and socially responsible industrial model. It aligns with the European Green Deal's goals and emphasises the importance of trust and mutual support in achieving climate justice and industrial innovation.

The story of 'La Fábrica Bonita' is not just about industrial conversion; it's about hope and collective effort. It highlights the potential for communities and workers to join forces and create a fairer, more sustainable future. 

This partnership between an energy community from the Canary Islands and a cooperative in Italy offers inspiration for similar projects across Europe, showcasing the power of unity in the fight for sustainable and socially integrated industries.

For more information, visit Energía Bonita and Collettivo di Fabbrica.

Read more about the story here (Spanish).