How can the EU support energy communities and citizens to participate in the energy transition?
11/09/2018 - Today, the European Commission, the Parliament and the Council started the second round of negotiations around the electricity market design for the European Union.
The EU is poised to set an unprecedented standard by formalizing the role of citizens and communities in Europe’s energy transition. By 2050, almost half of all EU households could be involved in producing renewable energy, about 37% of which could come through involvement in an energy community. However, the market design initiative must set strong rules to acknowledge, enable and provide rights to citizens that want to be active customers or participate in energy communities.
As a group of renewable energy cooperatives, local authority representatives, NGOs and members of the renewable energy industry, the Community Energy Coalition is committed to seeing that the EU’s Clean energy for all Europeans package provides a fair deal for consumers as ‘energy citizens’, and ensures no one is left behind in the energy transition. Initiatives such as the Small is Beautiful Campaign move in the same direction, in order to support small-scale renewable installations and co-generation facilities in Europe.
As the co-legislator, the European Parliament and the Council have the task of ensuring that citizens across Europe are able to harness this potential.
The market design needs to be coherent with other legislation in the Clean Energy Package that has already been agreed between the European Parliament and the Council. In particular, this legislation should be consistent with provisions in the Renewable Energy Directive, including:
- Definitions of ‘renewable energy communities’ and ‘renewables self-consumers’;
- A right to participate as an active customer or in an energy community without losing consumer rights;
- A right to access all suitable markets without discrimination or disproportionate treatment;
- A right to sell energy through suppliers and peer-to-peer energy sharing;
- Acknowledgement of the value that citizens and communities can bring to the energy system and the environment in network charges and remuneration they receive.