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10 July 2017
In conjunction with the inclusion of energy communities, for the first time, in the European Commission's proposal to amend the directive on common rules for the internal market in electricity and the directive on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable energy sources (RES) (the so-called 'Winter Package' of November 30 2016), in Greece, such communities are also being introduced and publicly discussed.
On June 7 2017 the Ministry of Environment and Energy launched a public consultation on the draft Law on Energy Communities. The consultation closed on June 26 2017.
While the European Commission's proposal distinguishes between local energy communities and renewable energy communities and applies different requirements to each, the draft law proposes only one type of community, which in its general and specific scope of operations, encompasses both types of EU community.
More precisely, the draft law defines 'energy communities' as civil law partnerships with the exclusive aim of:
Energy communities must engage in one of the following activities:
While the EU draft directives do not require energy communities to be non-profit organisations, the draft law generally requires energy communities to be non-profit organisations, with the exception of RES energy communities which may either be small and medium-sized enterprises or non-profit organisations. That said, they are entitled to distribute profit if they have at least 15 members, 50% of which are individuals.
According to the draft law, individuals, public and private law legal entities and local authorities (municipalities) of the seat of an energy community or its plant may be members of the energy community. The minimum number of members is as follows:
At least 75% of the members should be legally connected to the place of the energy community's seat (eg, a member should have real estate, residence or citizenship within the territory).
Under the EU proposal, RES energy communities may not have installed more than 18 megawatts of renewable capacity for electricity, heating and cooling and transport as a yearly average in the previous five year. The existing version of the draft law envisages no capacity limitation for RES produced by energy communities.
The draft law provides financial incentives for energy communities, including:
The following incentives may be introduced with respective ministerial decisions:
This draft law has raised considerable attention in Greece, primary by energy market stakeholders, but also interested individuals. Thus, the response to the consultation has been considerable. Given the large range of activities that the draft law proposes for energy communities and the aforementioned incentives, these communities may become an important vehicle for developing business activities and increasing energy efficiency in local communities.
For further information on this topic please contact Mira Todorovic Symeonides at Rokas Law Firm by telephone (+30 210 361 6816) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Rokas Law Firm website can be accessed at www.rokas.com.
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