Overall assessment

Updated December 2022

Provisions on RECs and CECs in Wallonia were transposed in a Decree that entered into force on 20 May, 2022. While it addresses energy sharing and addresses some the elements of what enabling frameworks must cover, it does not explicitly set out an enabling framework, particularly when it comes to capacity building and support. Nevertheless, some measures on citizen participation in wind development were passed in autumn, 2022. Specifically, under the new Wind Agreement (Pax Eolienica) citizens and municipalities must be allowed to obtain an ownership of at least 24.999%, respectively, in new wind projects. A ‘Facilitator’ has also been announced, although details are lacking at the moment. Provisions around the activity of renewable energy sharing, as well as registration of the energy community and further specifications around the definitions have been further elaborated in another Order, which has been finalized but has not yet entered into force.

Overall, the Wallonian Government has communicated objectives for energy communities, and legislation transposing energy communities provides a legal basis for developing regulatory measures to enable energy communities. However, concrete measures still need to be developed, support schemes need to be developed, and a number of other elements still need to be addressed in order for Wallonia to have an effective enabling framework.

Detailed assessment

Assessment of obstacles and potential for development of ECs

The Regulator, CWaPE, is required to report to the Government and the Walloon Parliament on the performance of its missions and the development of the regional electricity market. This needs to include an assessment of the provisions of on energy sharing and energy activities, and produce recommendations that aim to develop energy sharing, energy communities and self-consumption in compliance with market rules, the balance of the network and the maintenance of solidarity in the financing of the grid. This should take into account their beneficial contribution and involvement as local players and contributing towards the achievement of climate and energy objectives.

Nevertheless, this does not constitute an assessment of potential for energy communities to develop in Wallonia.

Removal of unjustified regulatory & administrative barriers

The sharing of energy within an energy community does not require obtaining an electricity supply license (but an energy community still needs an authorisation/permit to start sharing electricity). Energy communities must be balancing responsible, although it may delegate this duty to a third party. The energy community is responsible, where applicable, for invoicing the shared electricity with the exception of network charges, taxes, surcharges and other applicable regulated charges. The energy community is also responsible for the obligation referred to in Article 39, § 1, concerning the delivery of green certificates to the Administration.

The Government is delegated with powers to simplify administrative requirements and procedures, particularly around energy sharing. However, it has not yet done so.

DSO duties around cooperation with ECs and facilitation of energy sharing

Consumers have a right, as an active consumer, to share electricity within a building with other active consumers or within an energy community. The Energy Community itself also has a right to engage in the activity of electricity sharing. In turn, each participant waives the application of the social tariff for the share of electricity consumed resulting from the energy sharing activity. Also, each participant expressly and definitively waives the application of the annual compensation scheme.

The DSOs have fairly specific duties to enable energy sharing. DSOs have an obligation to cooperate with energy communities and active customers acting collectively within the same building to promote their development under transparent and non-discriminatory conditions.

DSOs must also implement, according to the regulated tariffs, the necessary technical, administrative and contractual arrangements, in particular with regard to electricity metering.

To this end, the DSO determines the volumes of electricity consumed within the framework of the energy sharing operation and those taken individually on the basis of the production and consumption readings and the applicable distribution key set out in the agreement. The CWaPE can draw up, in consultation with the DSOs, a list of standard distribution keys that can be applied as well as the procedures for any change in these keys.

The DSO must also communicate to the energy community or to the representative of the active customers acting collectively within the same building, the measurement data relating to the electricity produced and injected by the production unit(s) and taken individually respectively by each participant as well as only the information necessary for their invoicing. They must also transmit the data necessary for invoicing to the respective suppliers of the participants or active customers.

Fair, proportionate, and transparent registration & licensing procedures

The creation of an energy community whose purpose is one or more activities on the electricity market must be notified to the Regulator, CWaPE before the start of activities.

The notification must be made according to a standard form established by CWaPE, within the period and according to the procedure determined by the Government. The form must be published on the website of the CWaPE and the network managers. The notification must be accompanied in particular by the following documents and information:

  • the statutes of the energy community (which must contain information around compliance with the criteria);
  • the agreement between the energy community and its participants;
  • the characteristics and power of the electricity production facility(ies) owned or used by the community that may confer on it the status of producer, as well as the date of their current or estimated commissioning;
  • the list of participants.

Energy sharing within an energy community is subject to the prior authorization by CWaPE, subject to compliance with specific conditions. The energy community must submit an authorization request to the network operator(s) to which the production facility(ies) and the participants are connected. The request is made using the standard form drawn up by the CWaPE in consultation with the network operators.

Incentives connected to network tariffs based on a CBA

The use of the distribution network within the framework of the sharing of electricity within an energy community is taken into account in the calculation of the network charges, taxes, surcharges and other regulated charges applicable in accordance with the decree tariff and which are billed by the access holder.

The calculation of the costs referred to in the first paragraph is based on the volume of electricity measured at the access point of each participant, also taking into account in this case the volume of shared electricity from which it benefits.

The network operators draw up and transmit to the CWaPE according to the procedures defined by the latter, every three years, a technical analysis of the impacts of the sharing activities established on their networks.

Following the opinion of the CWaPE, the Government is empowered to set up a support mechanism for energy sharing activities exercised by the energy communities and active customers acting collectively within the same building.

Non-discriminatory treatment as market participant

Not addressed in the transposition.

Accessibility to low-income & vulnerable households

Not addressed in the transposition.

Tools to access finance

Not addressed in the transposition.

Tools to access information

Not addressed in the transposition.

Regulatory capacity building for public authorities

Not addressed in the transposition.

NECP reporting on enabling frameworks

Not addressed in the transposition. Member States are required via the Governance Regulation (2018/1999) to report on their enabling frameworks for RECs by 15 March 2023.

Support Scheme adapted for RECs

According to the decree, following an opinion of CWaPE, the Government is empowered to set up a support mechanism. However, this support only references energy sharing. No scheme has yet been put in place.