Latvia

REC/CEC definitions

Overall assesment

The transposition process in Latvia is in progress. The definitions of energy communities will be provided by amendments to the Law on Energy and the Electricity Market Law. Following a consultation period, the Draft Amendments to the Law on Energy and the Draft Amendments to the Electricity Market Law were announced at the State Secretary Meeting. After this announcement the inter-institutional approximation (agreeing) is on-going, meaning that the final Draft Amendments are not yet approved by the government, and need to be submitted to the Parliament. Thus, it is rather hard to say to what extent the draft will be changed. Both Drafts will be elaborated in a coordinated manner and submitted to the Parliament at the same time.

The Latvian approach is to state, at first, the general definition of energy communities and then provide the definitions of RECs and electricity communities (Note: in the Latvian context CECs will be named as “electricity communities” (elektroenerģijas kopiena)). The proximity criterion and the enabling framework for energy communities is planned to be elaborated later, in the governmental legislation issued pursuant to the Law on Energy.

The general definition for energy communities that is included in the Draft Amendment to the Law on Energy is the following:

(92) energy community - a legal person with open, democratic and voluntary participation, which is controlled by its members or holders of shares, which are natural persons, associations or foundations, local governments, municipal institutions, small or medium-sized enterprises and operating from energy, including renewable energy sources , generation, trade, electricity sharing, consumption, demand response services, energy storage, electric vehicle charging services, energy efficiency or other energy services aimed at providing environmental, economic or social benefits to its members or shareholders, or to areas where it operates and whose principal purpose is not to make a profit; ';

Then the draft Law also specifies what a REC is:

12) renewable energy community - an energy community that is engaged in the production of renewable energy and that owns, or develops or operates renewable energy production facilities that are territorially related to the renewable energy community;

And what an ‘electricity community’ is:

(91)' electricity community 'means an energy community active in the production of electricity;

The Draft Amendment to the Electricity Market Law provides for the definition of the electricity communities:

42. electricity energy community - an energy community operating in the electricity sector;

49. (1) The general requirements for energy communities specified in the Energy Law 17.1 and 17.2 shall apply to electricity energy communities.

(2) The electricity community is entitled to operate in all electricity markets, as well as to provide a demand response service.

The Draft Amendment on the Law on Energy also provides for a specific Chapter on energy communities, which includes some of the requirements set in article 22 of the RED II (Chapter II, articles 17.1. and 17.2.).

Detailed assesment

Criteria of EU definition reflected in national definition

  • open, democratic and voluntary participation. It is unclear whether democratic means autonomous.
  • effective control
  • eligibility: natural persons, associations or foundations, local governments, municipal institutions, small or medium-sized enterprises
  • requirement of proximity (for RECs)

Level of detail in the elaboration of principles contained in EU criteria

  • There is no elaboration of what each term means
  • A justification is provided on what (effective) control means. Control of members or participants in an energy community means any rights, contracts or other means which, individually or together, effectively or legally confer decisive influence on the energy community, in particular ownership or the right to use all or a substantial part of the energy community, decisive influence over the composition, voting or decisions of the governing bodies of the Energy Community.

Clearly defined purpose

In the definition of energy communities it is specified that their aim is to provide environmental, economic or social benefits to its members or shareholders, or to areas where it operates and their principal purpose is not to make a profit.

ICA cooperative governance principles reflected

The general definition of energy communities includes several ICA principles, through reference to the principles included in the EU definitions.

Legal entities allowed

It is not specified.

Citizen participation is ensured

No.

Designated authority to oversee

The Draft Amendment to the Law on Energy states that the State Construction Control Bureau shall establish a register of energy communities, ensure its public availability and perform supervision of energy communities.

Number of definitions

2 (RECs and electricity communities/CECs).

Coherency between both definitions

Both Draft Amendments to the Law on Energy and to the Electricity Market Law will be elaborated in a coordinated manner and submitted to the Parliament at the same time. Also a general definition of energy communities is provided in the draft Law and then 2 separate definitions are specifying what RECs and electricity communities are. This shows that some thought has been put into aligning the 2 definitions and the concept of energy communities. This makes sense in terms of promoting a single organizational concept.