MDPI Sustainabililty: Implementing European Union Provisions and Enabling Frameworks for Renewable Energy Communities in Nine Countries: Progress, Delays, and Gaps

With the Clean Energy for all Europeans legislative package, the European Union (EU) aimed to put consumers “at the heart” of EU energy policy. The recast of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) acknowledged the importance of energy communities for the energy transition and introduced new provisions for renewable energy communities (RECs), empowering them to participate in the energy market. This article analyses the progress of transposing and implementing key provisions of the RED II that apply to RECs in nine European countries and focuses on timeliness and completeness of transposition. It comprises both a qualitative and quantitative assessment covering (1) the definition, rights, and market activities of RECs; (2) key elements of enabling frameworks; and (3) consideration of REC specificities in support schemes for renewable energy. The analysis shows considerable variation in transposition performance between the analysed countries. The authors investigate the reasons for this variation and relate them to findings of European implementation and compliance research. Key factors identified include actor-related and capacity-related factors, institutional fit, and characteristics of the RED II itself. Future research in this field needs multi-faceted avenues and should pay particular attention to the influence of national governments and incumbents, not only in the transposition process, but already in upstream policy formulation at the European level.

Publication Date: 31 May 2023

Author: Michael Krug, Maria Rosaria Di Nucci & Lucas Schwarz (FUB), Irene Alonso (ECORYS, Isabel Azevedo (INEGI), Massimo Bastiani (Ecoazione), Anna Dylag (KAPE), Erik Laes (TU/e), Arthur Hinsch (ICLEI Europe), Gaidis Klavs & Ivars Kudrenickis (IPE),Pouyan Maleki