The Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Renewable Energy (the 2021 consolidated version) defines RECs as non-profit-making legal entities who owns and develops renewable energy production facilities and has the right to produce, consume, store and/or sell energy in installations. An analysis on several criteria of the EU definition is provided, such as the requirement of proximity and autonomy. The same Law also states that, in support schemes, energy from RES should be prioritized. Overall, the REC definition, at least on paper, can be considered a good practice. However, there is still further work to be done on the transposition, as there is no CEC definition yet.
Criteria of EU definition reflected in national definition
- Open and voluntary participation is mentioned
- Eligibility is covered
- Requirement of proximity and effective control is covered
- Autonomy is addressed
Level of detail in the elaboration of principles contained in EU criteria
- Open and voluntary participation is not further elaborated
- Eligibility – includes natural persons, medium-sized, small and micro-enterprises as defined in the Law on Small and Medium-Sized Business Development of the Republic of Lithuania, municipalities and / or municipally owned enterprises and public institutions
- Geographical proximity and effective control - at least 51 per cent of the votes at the general meeting of shareholders belong to shareholders who are natural persons whose place of residence has been declared in the municipality where the construction or installation of the energy production facility is planned or in other municipal elderships bordering this municipality
- Autonomy - at least three shareholders should natural persons with the right to vote at the general meeting of shareholders and at least 51 per cent of the votes at the general meeting of shareholders should belong to shareholders who are natural persons living in the proximity of the RECs. Furthermore, shareholders may not hold more than 20 per cent of the votes at the general meeting of shareholders of another energy company. This provision does not apply to municipalities. While the exception to municipalities does not run against the autonomy requirement in itself, some limit should probably be imposed, in order to ensure autonomy is maintained.
Clearly defined purpose
Renewable energy communities must be not-for-profit, but other than this no objectives or purpose are mentioned. The articles of association must also state how revenues from renewables production are distributed. The additional link to supervision from the regulator means that there are some safeguards that renewable energy communities will not be used to engage in for-profit objectives.
ICA cooperative governance principles reflected
Yes, to the extend listed in the RED II.
Legal entities allowed
Article 20(1) of the Law specifies that the status of a REC shall be granted to a public body established in accordance with the Law on Public Institutions of the Republic of Lithuania and the activities specified in Paragraphs 5 and 6 of this Law, the activities of which are based on open and voluntary participation of stakeholders. A public body acquires the status of a renewable energy community at the time of the issuance of a permit to produce electricity by the State Energy Regulatory Council. The Law on Public Bodies applies to the Renewable Energy Community to the extent that this law does not provide otherwise.
Citizen participation is ensured
The Law states that at least three members of the REC should be natural persons with the right to vote at the general meeting of shareholders and also that at least 51 per cent of the votes at the general meeting of shareholders should belong to shareholders who are natural persons whose place of residence has been declared in the municipality where the construction or installation of the energy production facility is planned or in other municipal elderships bordering this municipality. Thus, there are some requirements that could ensure citizen participation in a REC.
Designated authority to oversee
Article 2(9) highlights that the State Energy Regulatory Board shall inspect, supervise and control the compliance of RECs. If a REC violates the provisions of the Law, the suspension or revocation of the permit to produce electricity shall be decided in accordance with the procedure established in Article 17 of the Law on Electricity.
Number of definitions
1 - RECs
Coherency between both definitions
n/a - There is no CEC definition being transposed yet.