The Role of Energy Communities in Facilitating Sustainable Energy Democracy

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The term ‘energy community’ is increasingly mentioned as being part of energy transitions all around the globe. Despite this increasing popularity, however, the concept remains very broad and cannot be captured by a universally valid definition. Existing energy communities vary in terms of the activities they carry out in the energy sector and appear in various legal forms. Recurring themes connected with energy communities include facilitating renewable energy usage and supporting new technologies, new forms of organization, enhancing the participation of different actors in the energy sector, and enabling a just energy transition. Energy communities can thus potentially form a building block contributing to sustainable energy democracy. Facilitating this, however, requires the legal framework on energy communities to set parameters relating to the members, the governance, the tasks, and the justice component of energy communities. This chapter explores these elements by presenting the example of the EU legal framework on energy communities, which was adopted in 2018 and 2019 and is currently being implemented at Member State level. By analysing the provisions on energy communities established by EU law, this chapter provides an example of a legal framework on energy communities and aims to critically assess the provisions and benchmark them against their role in facilitating sustainable energy democracy. The findings are relevant for designing or adjusting legal frameworks for energy communities in the EU Member States.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Energy Democracy and the Law
EditorsRuven Fleming, Kaisa Huhta, Leonie Reins
PublisherBrill / Nijhoff
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-04-46544-2
ISBN (Print)978-90-04-46543-5
Publication statusPublished - 3-Jun-2021

Publication series

NameLegal Aspects of Sustainable Development
ISSN (Print)1875-0923

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