Energy Communities: Energy Sharing



Energy crisis and environmental emergency push governments to implement strategies to achieve greater independence from the import and use of fossil fuels with a consequent reduction in harmful emissions.

The ultimate goal is European energy autonomy and environmental protection.

The European Union has already imposed ambitious decarbonisation targets on member countries by 2030 with the REpowerEU plan. The increase in climatic anomalies has even led to anticipate some milestones to 2027.

With these premises, the concept of energy sharing is developing increasingly. Already known for some time in Northern Europe, it is also spreading rapidly to the rest of the continent, giving rise to the so-called renewable energy communities.

An energy community is an organization of subjects that produces energy from renewable sources based on the value of sharing and the concept of self-consumption.

A REC (renewable energy community) can be formed by citizens, small and medium-sized enterprises, associations, religious institutions, or public administrations. From a legislative point of view, this is possible thanks to the entry into force of Legislative Decree 162/19 (Article 42bis) and the related implementing measures: Resolution 318/202/R/eel of ARERA and Ministerial Decree September 16, 2020, of the former Mise (current MASE).

To set up a REC, it will be necessary, first, to identify an area where to build the system from renewable sources, which will be made available to associated users connected to the primary cabin. Then it must be established a statute or deed of incorporation stating that the purpose cannot be financial profit, but the obtaining of environmental, economic, and social benefits.

Ongoing geopolitical tensions have led to an inevitable increase in energy prices. Italy is notoriously poor in raw materials. This makes our country dependent on abroad for about 99% of its energy needs..

The establishment of an REC can bring financial benefits. The first and highly relevant is the cut in billing costs. This aspect depends, however, on the amount of energy produced and consumed by community members as well as on state incentives. The REC, in fact, receives an economic incentive paid by the State on shared energy within the community. All the energy produced in excess, on the other hand, is fed into the national distribution network for sale.

From an environmental point of view, the production and sharing of energy from renewable sources translates into a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions. A REC promotes energy independence and moving away from the use of fossil fuels and exhaustible raw materials. A step forward towards the EU's 2030 decarbonisation targets for a more eco-sustainable future.

Belonging to a REC means taking care of the community by breaking down social distances. Reducing energy costs promotes inclusiveness by supporting the value of sharing and social cohesion.

If we think about the future, we could imagine cities and local communities where RECs are the model for energy use and supply.

A world in which public and private production and consumption needs are shared, obtaining optimized systems and more convenient costs.
What will not be consumed by someone can be consumed by those who really need it, creating a virtuous consumption community.
It would create a production process from energy sources and self-consumption with a progressive zero impact.

Clearly, we are talking about an evolution that will require support from governments.
The times for the realization of what can be defined as energy "Sharing" must necessarily be accelerated. It is something that can no longer be procrastinated. This is required by the needs of protecting the environment and of sustaining our production system

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