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Energy Communities Repository

Regulatory challenges and opportunities for collective renewable energy prosumers in the EU


Publication date
11 March 2020
Energy Policy Journal
France, Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Belgium, Croatia, Italy, Portugal, Spain


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The transition to a low-carbon future based on renewable energy sources is leading to a new role for citizens, from passive energy consumers to active energy citizens - the so-called renewable energy (RE) prosumers. Recent EU energy policy seeks to mainstream RE prosumers in each Member State. This study carries out a cross-country comparison between the regulatory frameworks of nine countries and regions - Belgium (Flanders region only), Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Netherlands and the United Kingdom - to reveal the main challenges and opportunities that these have posed to collective RE prosumers (i.e. renewable energy communities, citizen energy communities and jointly-acting renewable self-consumers). Four countries have had more favourable frameworks for collective prosumers: France, Germany, Netherlands and United Kingdom. The results indicate that the current legal framework at the EU level represents a clear opportunity for collective prosumers. Spain and Portugal have both already shifted from a restrictive regulation to implementing in 2019 a legal framework for collectives. The study provides a starting point to distil policy implications for improving legal frameworks relevant for collective RES prosumers across Europe.

Authors: Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes, Faculty of Sciences of Lisbon University / Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IOW) / Sustainability Research Institute, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds / Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Institute of Banking, Finance and New Venture Management

Language: English


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Regulatory challenges and opportunities for collective renewable energy prosumers in the EU