Project deliverable Open Access
Toporek, M.; Campos, I.
This report identifies and describes the regulatory frameworks and policy instruments relevant for RES Prosumer initiatives in the EU and nine participating Member States.2
Taking the current state of the art on the legal challenges and opportunities for RES prosumers, this document explains recent developments of EU legislation related to renewable energy production and self-consumption (i.e. prosumerism). The analysis of the policy and regulatory frameworks of nine EU Member States (i.e. Belgium/Flanders, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Netherlands and United Kingdom/Great Britain) provides information necessary for understanding how the different regulatory frameworks are constraining or enabling the development of individual and collective forms of RES prosumerism. It will also be a useful tool for assessing whether and, if so, how prosumer provisions of the recent EU legislation are already integrated in the Member States’ national regulatoryframeworks.
The study focusses on countries from the South, Centre and North of Europe, which present very distinct levels of advancement in decentralised production of energy from renewable sources (RES) led by individual prosumers and prosumer collectives of various types (e.g. communities, cooperatives, companies, municipalities and villages). Regarding collective forms of self-consumption the focus ofthis report is on ‘renewable energy communities’ since the legal definition of these communities appears in the most recent EU legislation, but it is not yet commonly present in national legislations. Nevertheless, other forms of collective self-consumption (such as jointly acting renewables self- consumers) were also considered.
All countries analysed have some sort of legislation aimed at regulating self-consumption, althoughthe term ‘self-consumption’ does not always include all elements, and the term ‘prosumer’ is neverused in any of the legal documents analysed. Yet, there is still a long way ahead for majority of the countries to translate EU-definitions such as ‘renewables energy communities’ or ‘jointly actingrenewables self-consumers’ to their national legislations. In the nine countries analysed only one(Germany) had a definition that could be considered a definition of renewables energy communities. Out of the nine countries analysed only France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands (possibly also Italy) have or are developing a legislative framework supporting these communities and other forms of collective self-consumption, and in case of Portugal setting up these communities would not be possible. It is expected that national legal frameworks of EU Member States will continue to change in the coming years in view of the implementation of EU Directives.
Overall, we conclude that the recently adopted EU legislation is likely to be driving changes at the national level, by promoting more progressive energy policies, centred on the role of citizens as active energy consumers. Currently, the level of supportive legal frameworks in the Members States is quite diverse, some are advanced (e.g. Germany, France), others are far behind (e.g. Portugal). Our aim in PROSEU is to continue assessing the situation of prosumers and energy communities in the EU, and the studied countries. The present report, is then, the first necessary step for all further analytical and policy work that will be carried out in the project.