REC/CEC definitions

Overall assesment

The REC definition was included in national law on renewables collective self-consumption. No definition of CEC has yet been proposed. In terms of framing, this could cause confusion regarding what potential activities a REC can engage in. Almost all provisions on RECs, including the definition, are copy-pasted. Therefore, without any specificity, this legislation does little to establish legal clarity around the concept of RECs and their role in the energy system. In terms of the principles covered by the Renewables Directive, the Portuguese definition does not address autonomy, and as such is not compliant with the Renewables Directive. In terms of geographic proximity, this is used not just for effective control but for eligibility. As such it is more strict than the Renewables Directive. This could place significant limitations on participation outside the community. It may be that this was because RECs were intended as small local projects. However, given that RECs may undertake other activities that have a broader impact, this could limit the development of RECs over time. While the ability for RECs to assume any legal form provides flexibility for their development, because there is no authority to oversee RECs or their compliance with the definitions, there is a high risk of abuse.

Detailed assesment

Criteria of EU definition reflected in national definition

  • Openness and voluntariness are reflected in the definition
  • Effective control is covered (see below)
  • Autonomy is not mentioned

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

For the most part, the definition is a copy-paste of the EU level definition. The definition is more precise, however, in effective control going beyond the Directive. Not only must effective control reside with natural persons, SMEs or local authorities that are located in close proximity to its renewable energy projects, members MUST also be located in close proximity, equating proximity to an eligibility requirement to be able to participate in a REC.

Clearly defined purpose

The definition copy-pastes the EU level definition and does not go any further.

ICA cooperative governance principles reflected

Copy-paste of EU definition, although autonomy is excluded.

Legal entities allowed

All legal persons.

Citizen participation is ensured


Designated authority to oversee


Number of definitions


Coherency between both definitions