Conceptualizing ‘Energy Sharing’ as an Activity of ‘Energy Communities’ under EU Law: Towards Social Benefits for Consumers?

Lea Diestelmeier, Viola Cappelli

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The Electricity Market Directive and the Renewable Energy Directive introduced ‘energy sharing’ as a novel activity of energy communities, but they do not further specify what ‘sharing’ entails. This article aims to clarify the meaning of ‘energy sharing’ for consumers in the context of ‘energy communities’. Due to their distinctive governance structure and purpose, as established by the Directives, ‘energy communities’ can potentially contribute to facilitating energy democracy and energy justice at the consumer level by setting the relevant context for interpreting ‘energy sharing’. This implies that from a legal perspective ‘energy sharing’ needs to be understood beyond the paradigm of the sharing economy, but as a cultural trait. So far, provisions on ‘energy communities’ and even more on energy sharing have not been (sufficiently) implemented by many EU Member States, calling for clarification and guidance of what those concepts entail, in particular their potential for operationalising energy democracy and energy justice at consumer level. This article proposes a conceptual framework for further investigating the question how ‘energy sharing’ should be defined and operationalised in the EU but also at national levels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-23
JournalJournal of European Consumer and Market Law
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23-Feb-2023

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