Mainstreaming Community Energy: Is the Renewable Energy Directive a Driver for Renewable Energy Communities in Germany and Italy?

By 30 June 2021, EU Member States were expected to transpose the recast Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) which includes provisions for renewable energy communities (RECs) and to develop an enabling framework to promote the development of RECs. Although there is a growing number of studies analysing the emergence of various forms of community energy, comparative studies investigating the transposition and creation of enabling frameworks for RECs in a multi-level governance (MLG) perspective are scarce. This article examines the transposition in Germany and Italy and compares elements of the respective enabling frameworks. Key methods include context and MLG analysis combined with methods of descriptive (legal) studies. Insights and participatory observations of the stakeholder desks established in the Horizon2020 project COME RES complement the spectrum of methods deployed. Although community energy development is more advanced in Germany, the transposition of the RED II provisions has been slow and piecemeal so far. Conversely, in Italy, RED II played a catalyst role; the transposition has been rather dynamic and encouraged a continuous growth of REC initiatives. Nevertheless, a widespread uptake of RECs requires structural adjustments of the governance system in both countries and attention to MLG as well as vertical policy coordination.

Originally published by MDPI Sustainability.

Publication Date: 11 Jun 2022

Author: Michael Krug, Maria Rosaria Di Nucci, Matteo Caldera and Elena De Luca (FFU)