The German Stakeholder Desk
The German desk concentrates on community wind energy and community integrated solutions. It involves a core group of approx. 40 stakeholders and a wider group of roughly 120 stakeholders. For operational reasons, regular desk meetings are mainly addressing the core group whereas the Thematic Workshops and Policy Roundtables are open to a larger group of stakeholders. The stakeholders come mainly from target region Thuringia and model region Schleswig-Holstein, but also from other German federal states (e.g. North Rhine-Westphalia) and organisations at the national level.
The term Renewable Energy Community has not yet been officially defined in German law. However, there are community-based organisations and initiatives which certainly fulfil the corresponding criteria (see Renewable Energy Directive II), including many cooperatives. By the end of 2019, the number of energy cooperatives in Germany reached 883, involving 200,000 members and investments in RES installations of 2.9 billion EURs. Roughly one quarter of all energy cooperatives are engaged with the generation of electricity from wind energy, while most (83%) deal with electricity production from PV. Between 2008 and 2013, the total number of energy cooperatives saw an increase from 24 to 718. Since 2011 however, the annual increase has constantly declined. In 2019, only 14 new energy cooperatives were founded (DGRV 2020).
The desk is designed as an informal forum to discuss current topics related to the development of RECs. It seeks to accompany and inform the transposition and implementation of the recast Renewable Energy and the Integrated Electricity Market Directives and their provisions for energy communities. For this purpose, the desk organises Thematic Workshops and policy roundtables involving public decision-makers. It provides input for the analysis of potentials, barriers, good practices, business models and transfer opportunities. The stakeholders involved also provide feedback on project results (e.g. on the action plan for the target region Thuringia) and help to test and validate project outputs and support their dissemination.