Position paper on European Energy Communities with recommendations from COBEN

Together with the COBEN consortium, our policy innovation work package lead, Gemeente Emmen (NL), wrote a position paper in order to review the status quo of the European policy landscape for energy communities.

Drawing on the years of practical experiences of the COBEN partners, this Position Paper addresses the existing barriers and suggests new opportunities for civic energy in the European energy landscape. Opportunities to boost civic energy arise from the concepts of “citizen energy communities” (CEC) as defined by the “Electricity Directive 2019” (Directive 2019/944/EU) and “renewable energy communities” (REC) as defined by the Renewable Energy Directive (Directive 2018/2001/EU). Whether these opportunities can be capitalized on highly depends on the way the directive articles on CECs and RECs are transposed into a legal framework by the EU member states. COBEN’s work on a broad variety of civic energy initiatives throughout the North Sea Region can therefore support the EU’s vision by offering advice that is based on practical experiences. Thus, drawing on COBEN’s applied knowledge, this Position Paper highlights which barriers need to be addressed to facilitate energy transition by enabling a shift in energy value chains from centralised utilities to community-owned renewable energy initiatives that provide tangible economic, environmental and social benefits to the communities involved.

In this position paper we analyse the opportunities for and obstacles to civic energy uptake in the Electricity Directive 2019 and the Renewables Directive, look into the way these articles on CECs and RECs are transposed into national law in a selection of member states in the North Sea Region, and examine how the opportunities and obstacles are handled in those member states. We conclude with policy recommendations at EU and member state level.

You can download the full position paper here