The Commission’s commitment to support the development of citizen ownership through renewable and citizen energy communities is commendable but including certain measures related to citizen energy communities within the reform of the EU’s gas market rules, could create too many risks, says a letter written by the European Community Power Coalition.
Community energy campaigners have written to the Executive-Vice President for the European Green Deal, Mr Frans Timmermans and the Commissioner for Energy, Ms Kadri Simson, to express their concerns regarding the replication of citizen energy community measures in the EU’s Gas Directive.
The group writes that it’s risky for citizen energy groups and the energy transition, whilst offering no additional benefits from an energy and climate perspective:
o Renewable energy communities can already participate in activities related to renewable gas, such as biomethane, under the provisions laid out in the Renewable Energy Directive (2018/2001)
o The measures risk creating an additional definition of an energy community in EU law, which could be open to abuse by commercial market participants
o The creation of a third definition of an energy community in a third piece of EU legislation could create significant confusion and delays among policy makers
The coalition calls on European Commission to protect renewable energy communities:
“Energy communities are an organisational concept aimed at empowering citizens to participate and take ownership of renewable energy and other clean technologies for a successful and democratic energy transition that provides economic, social and environmental benefits, which cannot be reflected through the concept of gas citizen energy communities. It is vital that energy communities remain immune to abuse by gas industry stakeholders,” says the coalition.