Slovakia has one Operational Programme (Programme Slovakia) which aims to use EUR 12,593,734,933 from the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) according to the update from June 2022.
General: allocation, definition, transposition
Specific allocation for energy communities
The Operational Programme dedicates 95 million euros to one of the specific measures regarding the promotion of renewable energy. Eligible entities for these funds include enterprises that are active electricity consumers, prosumers of energy from renewable energy and communities generating renewable energy.
24 million euros are dedicated to energy communities, but these funds can also be accessed by enterprises which complement energy efficiency measures with renewable energy sources.
Definition of energy communities in line with EU legislation
The Operational Programme defines eligible energy communities as per the following: "definition within the meaning of Directive (EU) 2018/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources", without further elaboration. Additionally, there are concerns that businesses are set to be favoured over Municipalities, energy communities and prosumers.
Proportionality of share of total fund allocated to energy communities
The 398 million euros earmarked for the promotion of renewable energy, form a relatively acceptable share of the total budget of the Slovakian Operational Programme. Within these broader funds, the specific allocation for energy communities amounts to 24 million euros, which proportionally is a small amount, especially keeping in mind that these funds can be accessed by enterprises as well.
If part of these funds is not absorbed, it could be reallocated in the future to authentic, citizen led and active energy communities.
Availability of tailored financing tools
There are a few financing tools available that fit different situations, including grants and guarantees.
Link to a wider scope of activities and objectives
Link between energy communities, building renovation and energy efficiency
The scheme doesn't mention a link between energy communities, building renovation and energy efficiency. Therefore, the scope of projects & activities that energy communities can undertake remains limited. This is not the case for enterprises that can combine support for energy efficiency measures with renewable energy sources.
Recognition of energy communities under multiple objectives
Energy communities are only partially recognised under multiple objectives. They are only recognised under the objective of supporting renewable energy production, with an additional reference to the development of smart energy systems.
Transparency and inclusiveness
Holistic strategy to provide financing across different levels of project development
The Operational Programme includes a strategical approach for regional decarbonisation, but to date there is no elaboration regarding the various forms of support that energy communities might receive. The Slovak Innovation and Energy agency is expected to use their counselling centres to advise energy communities.
Transparency of the design and communication of the schemes and measures
The call for proposals for energy communities is expected to include participatory consultations and co-design processes.
Selection criteria and the prioritisation of various social components
There is an ongoing process of participatory preparation
of the social elements that will be included within the calls for proposals.
Decentralised tender process
The beneficiaries are given flexibility to design their own tenders if they are compliant with the national law and the rules of the Programme Slovakia. But the distribution of finances is centralised at the national level.
Existence of procedures to facilitate the participation of energy communities in open calls
There exist very limited efforts to coach energy communities and familiarise them with available opportunities for public funds.
Stability and predictability of the programme through time
The first calls for funding under the Operational Programme are expected to be announced in the autumn of 2023. Therefore, this information is not yet available.