On behalf of LocalRES, Karine Laffont-Eloire from DOWEL Innovation, gave a presentation on the topic of regulatory barriers to the set up and growth of renewable energy communities, at a workshop targeted at energy communities at Sustainable Places 2023.
The presentation derived from both lessons learnt from LocalRES and the recommendations from the BRIDGE Regulatory WG Action 2.
These are the conclusions so far:
• EU directives on Energy Communities may be transposed but that doesn’t mean the public authorities are ready to implement them (i.e. enabling frameworks are required, also the support from the DSO is needed)
• In some cases the transposition may be very “conservative”, hindering the development of communities
• National laws and EU Directives are still evolving on the topics of energy communities, energy sharing and aggregation
• Even when all the lights are green on the regulatory side, an initiative can be slowed down by local opposition
• There is a long way to go for RECs to turn into true market players able to offer flexibility and other grid services
• On regulation:
o Follow closely the evolution of national regulations, frameworks and procedures related to Energy Services and to the provision of grid services
o Include the local DSO in the consortium to ensure support
o Request regulatory sandboxes where possible and relevant
• On technical and financial aspects
o Define (realistic) digitalisation requirements for legacy equipment in advance (at proposal stage if possible) and make sure costs will be covered
• On social acceptance:
o Develop a clear engagement strategy
o Emphasise non-financial benefits
o Lead by example and get public support from “Local heroes”
It became apparent that most projects with demonstrators experienced difficulties like those faced by LocalRES regarding energy community regulations. DSOs can either be facilitators or bottlenecks and this was heavily emphasized by all.