Enercoop is a French enterprise created in September 2005 that provides exclusively renewable energy. Enercoop operates in the particular sector of energy where a State monopoly was established since 1946. A new market-based reform has changed this sector over the recent years, although it should be noticed that the old monopoly, EDF, still benefits of a substantial state help. Nevertheless, Enercoop might be seen as a branch with a gradual and extended vocation thanks to the liberalization of the electricity market. In many ways the Enercoop story resembles to that of David against Goliath. Its aim is to bet on a « offre militante », buying electricity from renewable energy producers (without a nuclear origin) only and to sell it at a price much bigger than regular tariffs. In other words, Enercoop customers accept to pay a little bit more their electricity, but with a guarantee of 100% « clean energy». The idea is that the ongoing market liberalisation will gradually force EDF to sell its electricity at its real price, including the whole production costs (especially for nuclear), whereas renewable electricity production costs will gradually decrease. Today, the market is limited but is still emerging, and it needs to develop.
With 0,02 of electricity consumed, Enercoop remains actually negligible on the French market, but in ten years it has proved of its viability economic project. From a juridical point of view, Enercoop status is a mutual fund collective interest cooperative society (SCIC). Today, Enercoop has a national structure and ten regional satellites which have the same status of SCIC. The first of this branch has been created in 2009 in Champagne-Ardenne, while Rhône-Alpes has followed in September 2010. This local implantation is crucial because it allows for decentralizing production conditions of electricity and so adapt them to each territory characteristics.
This model is opposite to that of EDF, which has always centralized electricity production to supply energy to the whole of territory with decreasing costs. It is also the appropriation question by citizens of production conditions – and especially consumption system – of electricity that is in play through Enercoop status. More generally, the Enercoop project entails a strong civic dimension that is translated in a fight against energetic waste, a will to promote a sustainable development, and the desire to protect the small producers.