Italy’s first renewable energy community (REC) has been established in the small northern town of Magliano Alpi, which plans to join forces with five neighboring municipalities to create a series of RECs.
At first, they will be separate entities, but once the EU’s directive on citizen energy communities (CEC) is transposed in Italy next year, these municipalities will aggregate to form a CEC, says Sergio Olivero, chairman of the REC’s scientific committee, according to a report by pv-magazine.
Energy communities are becoming increasingly popular in the EU. They are expected to foster the decentralization of renewable energy generation and increase citizen participation in renewable energy projects.
Magliano Alpi plans to cover the energy needs of half of its residents with RECs
Magliano Alpi’s solar energy community was established thanks to Italy’s new rules and incentives that were defined in the second half of 2020, and the municipality aims to take advantage of increased public funding and create a network of RECs that would cover the energy needs of half of its residents.
Italy has done a great deal in 2020 to incentivize renewable energy
Over the past six months, Italy has done a great deal to incentivize renewable energy. “The private sector can tap into the superbonus or the 50% renovation tax break. The public sector has resources too. In addition, the Ministry of Economic Development grants a subsidy of EUR 110 per MWh,” according to Olivero.
“Also, municipalities with fewer than 5,000 inhabitants have EUR 100,000 to spend on energy communities. This allocation will last until 2024,” he added.
In mid-2020, the Italian government raised the so-called eco-bonus for photovoltaic (PV) installations and storage systems from 50% to 110%, effectively enabling homeowners to install PV systems at no cost.
Slovenia has eased the procedure for setting up energy communities
In Slovenia, the government has recently eased the procedure for setting up energy communities and simplified the process of connecting their power generation devices to the grid. The first energy community in Slovenia was founded in the town of Luče, northeast of Ljubljana.
Austria, for its part, has unveiled a draft law on energy communities, making it one of the first countries in Europe to do so.
In the region covered by Balkan Green Energy News, most of the energy cooperatives are in Greece, but some progress has also been made in Serbia and Croatia.