Energy Communities in the European Union

Report | Read Time 4 MIN | European Energy Markets & Policy Series
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European Energy Markets
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Energy communities are central to the Clean Energy for all Europeans package. These collective and citizen-driven energy communities will help pave the way for a clean energy transition by increasing public acceptance of renewable energy projects.

The below ASSET studies offer background, strategy assessment and expert recommendations for implementing renewable energy communities and positive energy blocks.

Study 1: Energy Communities in the European Union

"Energy community" is an emerging concept for which no widely accepted definition exists. Rather, its definition depends on the substance of different directives as well as the various citizens' initiatives. When the EU recognized energy communities in the Clean Energy Package, it fostered citizens' initiatives to locally generate renewable energy and incentivized their participation in the market.

As adopting EU rules on the matter may increase legal certainty for investors and replicability potential, this study provides regulatory and policy recommendations for the implementation of energy community-related provisions as adopted in the relevant EU law (Electricity & Renewable directives), including:

  • Insights from key stakeholders through interviews and an online questionnaire, gathering data from 28 EU national authorities
  • Recommendations based on custom-made research, striving to facilitate further implementation of energy communities at the national level

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Study 2: Energy Communities in the Clean Energy Package: Best Practices and Recommendations for Implementation

The Clean Energy Package promotes energy efficiency by setting a target for the share of energy from renewable sources consumed in the EU of at least 32% by 2030. It also provides guidance to EU Member States on meeting the Paris Agreement and expands consumer rights to make self-generation easier while promoting cross-border cooperation to increase the reliability of supply and the efficiency of electricity markets (European Commission, 2019).

The goal of this study is to provide:

  • Considerations and best practices for the implementation of Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) and Citizen Energy Communities (CECs)
  • Implementation mechanisms for leveraging the relevant provisions while following the text and principles of the Directives, advancing the explicit goals of the Clean Energy Package, and setting solid foundations for the enabling framework

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Study 3: Sustainable Built Environment: What Are Positive Energy Blocks?

Local energy system features have contributed to the rise of positive energy buildings which form a cluster known as a Positive Energy Block (PEB). Positive Energy Blocks are high on the European Commission's agenda and are receiving funding for large-scale pilot projects.

This study selects and analyzes five existing Positive Energy Blocks from across the globe that stand out due to their innovation and performance. Topics covered include:

  • An inventory of existing positive energy blocks based on extensive desktop research of initiatives inside and outside the EU
  • The key performance indicators on which the positive energy blocks are evaluated, determined with publicly available information
  • Our top five case studies, assessed and further studied

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The ASSET project is aimed at providing studies in support of EU policymaking, research, and innovation in the field of energy.

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