Article by Erik Laes (Eindhoven University of Technology)

The first meeting of the joint Belgium (Flanders region)/the Netherlands stakeholder desk took place online on 19 January 2021. The meeting aimed at bringing together major community energy stakeholders to identify region-specific barriers in the selected COME RES target regions Limburg and West-Vlaanderen in Flanders, and Noord-Brabant in the Netherlands. The thematic focus in Flanders and the Netherlands is on integrated approaches (e.g. microgrids, virtual power plants).


The coordinators of the Flemish and Dutch country desk Erika Meynaerts (VITO/EnergyVille) and Erik Laes (TU/e) presented the objectives and highlights of COME RES and the role of the country desk within the project to 42 participants. The participating stakeholders included, among others, representatives of ministries, energy agencies, renewable energy associations, innovation agencies, energy cooperatives and their associations, municipal organisations, project developers and coordinators, financing institutions, environmental NGOs and civil society.

Two presentations addressed the policy frameworks for energy communities in Flanders and the Netherlands, and the likely changes to these frameworks induced by the transposition of the Renewable Energy and the Internal Electricity Market Directives of the EU. Following these presentations, in an interactive section the attendees to the meeting identified and classified the barriers and opportunities towards community energy in the respective target regions and discussed important aspects for enhancing an enabling framework.

The kick-off event was organised in cooperation with The event was facilitated by Sara Tachelet ( and Sarah Delvaux (VITO/EnergyVille) and Q&A sessions were moderated by Dirk Vansintjan ( The next activity will follow in May/June 2021 in the form of a thematic workshop and policy lab.

Countrydesk Comeres