According to the Energy Communities Repository, Austria has a comprehensive national framework for energy communities (ECs) defined mainly through two laws. The Federal Law on the Expansion of Energy from Renewable Sources (EAG) establishes a framework on renewable energy communities (RECs) in the 6th Section of the Act. In parallel, Citizen Energy Communities (CECs) benefit from a framework defined from Section 6a onwards of the Federal Law on the Organisation in the Field of the Electricity Industry (EIWOG). The latter also includes some common provisions applicable to both CECs and RECs, particularly on energy sharing. The energy communities' framework was introduced by an amendment of the EAG package published in the Gazette 150/2021 of 27 July 2021.
According to the Energy Communities Repository’s research, Croatia has introduced provisions for Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) with the Law on Renewable energy sources and Highly efficient cogeneration and on Citizen Energy Communities (CECs) with the Law on the Electricity Market. In addition, provisions on energy communities are included in the Rulebook on general conditions for network use and electricity supply and in the Rulebook on permits for the performance of energy activities and keeping a register of issued and revoked permits for the performance of energy activities.
According to the Energy Communities Repository (ECR), Cyprus has included provisions for both Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) and Citizen Energy Communities (CECs) in their national legislation. Law 130(I)/2021 for the Regulation of the Electricity Market has been published transposing the provisions of the Electricity Directive 2019/944. This Law includes a definition for CECs and RECs and lays down the responsibilities of the Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority (CERA), one of which is to draft an enabling framework for CECs with regulatory decisions so that they are able to participate in the market without discrimination. The Renewables Directive (RED II) has been partly transposed with the Law 107(I)/2022 on the Promotion and Encouragement of the Use of Renewable Energy Sources. This Law includes the definition of RECs and mentions that CERA should draft regulations setting an enabling framework for RECs. CERA is also mentioned in the law as the responsible body to conduct the assessment for barriers and potential for RECs in Cyprus and it should also take the specificities of RECs into account when developing support schemes.
Denmark has a long history of engagement with citizens and local authorities in its energy system. Over twenty years ago, the utilities producing and supplying electricity were consumer-owned, cooperatives or municipal entities. Similarly, the district heating companies were, and are still largely, consumer-owned cooperatives or municipal entities. Local actors were also pioneers and largely contributed to the expansion of wind energy in Denmark.
Estonia has implemented provisions on energy communities into two different concepts – Energy Communities (ECs) and Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) – in its national legislation through an amendment to its Electricity Market Act published on 15 March 2022, and an amendment to its Energy Sector Organisation Act published on 18 May 2022. The concepts are defined, and RECs and ECs benefit from certain rights and obligations and some core elements of an enabling framework.
With the entry into force in France of the Ordinance n° 2021-236 of 3 March 2021, Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) and Citizen Energy Communities (CECs) benefit from a legislative framework in the Energy Code, including definitions, rights and obligations, enabling frameworks as well as support schemes. The definitions and rules on access to support schemes were modified by the law n° 2023-175 of 10 March 2023 related to the acceleration of the production of renewable energies. An implementing decree is expected to be published on the energy communities' provisions. France's policy intervention in favour of local and citizen initiatives started before the discussion and implementation of the Clean Energy Package, around participative projects, collective self-consumption and crowdfunding in renewable energy projects.
According to the Energy Communities Repository’s research, in Greece the Law 5037/2023 published on March 2023 introduced provisions for Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) and Citizen Energy Communities (CECs), thus transposing the relevant EU provisions. The articles on RECs are introduced as amendments to the existing Law 3468/2006 on the production of electricity from renewable energy sources, High Efficiency co-generation and heat and other provisions, while the articles on CECs are introduced as amendments to the existing Law 4001/2011 for the operation of the electricity and gas energy markets. The new legislation also includes transitional provisions for the articles of the pre-existing Law 4513/2018 on energy communities.
The Latvian Parliament adopted on 14 July 2022 the general legislative framework for energy communities with amendments to the Law on Energy and the Electricity Market Law , which both came into force on the 1st of January 2023. The Amendments on the Law of Energy introduce 2 types of energy communities, Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) and Electricity Energy Communities , the Latvian term for citizen energy communities (CECs)). The concept of energy communities is new in Latvia, therefore there was no pre-existing concept. Governmental (Cabinet of Ministers) Regulations are expected to be further adopted.
As early as February 2021, Luxembourg developed a framework for Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) as an initiative to self-consume collectively and share electricity within a restricted geographical perimeter. Despite the framework in place, there are few renewable energy communities in Luxembourg. A revision of the framework is expected to be published in 2023, including updated definitions and new rules for energy communities.
According to the Energy Communities Repository’s research, Malta transposed the EU provisions for Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) introduced by the Directive (EU) 2018/2001 (RED II) with Subsidiary Legislation 545.35 and the provisions for Citizen Energy Communities (CECs) introduced by the Directive (EU) 2019/944 (IEMD) with Subsidiary legislation 545.34 (Electricity Regulations). Subsidiary Legislation 545.35 was published on 28 December 2021, as amended by Legal Notice 53 of 2023 and Subsidiary legislation 545.34 was published on 4 June 2021, as amended by Legal Notice 44 of 2023. Malta specified in the national legislation that the regulation on RECs shall apply without prejudice to Malta’s right to exercise the derogations granted pursuant to Article 66 of Directive (EU) 2019/944 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 on common rules for the internal market for electricity and amending Directive 2012/27/EU (recast) (article 24(8)).
According to the Energy Communities Repository’s research, Poland is in the progress of transposing the provisions for Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) and Citizen Energy Communities (CECs) into national legislation, therefore no energy community definitions exist at the moment of writing this document.
However, the national legislation features provisions on energy cooperatives, which are defined as form of cooperation with the purpose to produce electricity, biogas, or heat from renewable sources.
According to the Energy Communities Repository’s research, Portugal initially introduced provisions for Renewable Energy Communities with the Decree 162/2019, which approved the legal regime applicable to self-consumption of renewable energy. However this law was repealed by the Decree 15/2022, which establishes the organisation and operation of the National Electrical System. The latter introduced provisions for both Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) and Citizen Energy Communities (CECs) and lists CECs and RECs among the stakeholders involved in the National Electric System.
According to the Energy Communities Repository’s research, Romania introduced its national legislation provisions for Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) through the emergency ordinance 163/2022 published in the official monitor no 1165 of December 6, 2022. Citizen Energy Communities (CECs) were introduced through the emergency ordinance 143/2021 published in the official monitor no 1259 of December 31, 2021, which amends the Electricity and Natural Gas Law no. 123/2012. The national legislation allocates to the National Regulatory Authority, ANRE, the responsibility to elaborate on some elements of the legislation for energy communities, such as the enabling frameworks for RECs and CECs.
The Act 256/2022 of 22 June 2022 has amended Act 251/2012 on Energy to define Energy Communities and Communities Producing Energy from Renewable Sources. Provisions are applicable from October 2022. The legal framework has been further clarified by an amendment 363/2022 of 19 October 2022 to the Act 309/2009 on Support for Renewable Energy Sources, which empowered the Ministry to develop an enabling framework for Communities Producing Energy from Renewable Sources (CPERS)..
Implementing acts and regulations were still to be published during the overview.
According to the Energy Communities Repository’s research, Spain introduced provisions for Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) with the Royal Decree 23/2020, while legislation for Citizen Energy Communities (CECs) is expected to be published soon. In the preamble II of the Royal Decree 23/2020 it is mentioned that the introduction of RECs in the national legislation aims at the participation of citizens and local authorities in renewable energy projects, which will allow greater local acceptance of renewables and a greater participation of citizens in the energy transition.