REC/CEC definitions

Overall assesment

The draft legislation in the Netherlands attempts to merge both REC and CEC definitions into one single concept, called an ‘energy community’. In this effort, it succeeds in creating a single concept that properly distinguishes between the different participation requirements of RECs and CECs. Not all of the governance principles from the EU directives have been included, but the draft contains an explanation/background note that acknowledges the need to address additional issues. The definition is open to all legal persons, regardless of form. With no authority to oversee compliance with the conditions for energy communities, this could result in abuse. Lastly, the definitions do not go into any specific detail on the governance principles, which would help provide necessary clarity.

Detailed assesment

Criteria of EU definition reflected in national definition

  • An energy community carries out activities in the energy market, meaning any activity is technically possible
  • Effective control, voluntary and open participation is included in the conditions for energy communities
  • There is a provision allowing for more strict standards on effective control to be adopted in the future
  • There is a geographical proximity requirement around control, and eligibility is narrowed for energy communities that develop renewable energy projects
  • Nothing on autonomy, although the explanation identifies the one-person-one-vote for cooperatives, and mentions potential for setting maximum shares by certain entities/groups of entities, or further distribution of voting rights

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

The proposed definition does not specify beyond the EU definitions.

Clearly defined purpose

Copy-and-paste of the Directives.

ICA cooperative governance principles reflected

Only partly, through reference to the principles included in the EU definitions.

Legal entities allowed

All legal persons.

Citizen participation is ensured


Designated authority to oversee

Not mentioned.

Number of definitions

1 – there is only one definition, which is named an ‘energy community’ – in this sense, the definition attempts to mix both the REC and CEC definitions.

Coherency between both definitions

Conditions for energy communities differentiate between energy communities that have a renewable energy project, and for those that do not, where relevant. While it has yet to be seen how this will be implemented in practice, it provides promise in showing how MS can develop a single coherent concept while respecting the different rules between RECs and CECs in the EU Directives.