Energy Communities in Greece: current status, challenges and policy making proposals

Bringing into the spotlight the role of Municipalities in creating energy communities and ensuring the energy autonomy of local communities, Ioanna Theodosiou, Policy Associate of Green Tank, presented the current status of energy communities in Greece, underlined the challenges and made proposals to strengthen the institution of energy communities. The presentation was delivered at an event titled “Energy communities and their participation in the energy autonomy of local communities. The role of municipalities”, which organized by the municipal party Efpolis of the Municipality of Dionysos.

Starting with the principles of solidarity, justice, equality and democracy that govern the institution of energy communities, Ioanna Theodosiou presented the main points of the Greek Law 4513/2018, which defines the establishment of energy communities and the practical steps for their creation, giving specific examples.

Although the existing legal framework provides for the distinction between profit and non-profit Energy Communities, she underlined the importance of distinguishing between public benefit and non-public benefit Energy Communities. The first category should include all non-profit Energy Communities as well as Energy Communities projects by local and regional authorities, since, by definition, municipalities and regions use profits for the benefit of local communities. The second category includes Energy Communities that aim at making profits for their members.

Then, drawing on the recent Green Tank review, she presented data on existing low and medium voltage projects as well as net metering projects by Energy Communities in Greece, and problems identified by experts, stakeholders and citizens involved in the energy transition. Ioanna Theodosiou concluded her presentation by stressing the need to strengthen the institution of Energy Communities in line with the European directives. She then outlined a series of recommendations, to:

– ensure grid availability for projects by Energy Communities

– subsidy the installation cost of projects by public benefit Energy Communities to cover own energy needs, including such projects by Municipalities and Regions

– create a development fund specifically for Energy Communities

– include quantitative and ambitious targets in the revised NECP in line with the RepowerEU plan and the European Solar Energy Strategy.

The event was held online, on September 26, 2022. Other participants included:

– Kostas Kouridakis, Civil Engineer NTUA and head of municipal party Efpolis

– Dimitris Zarris, Civil Engineer NTUA, PhD, and coordinator of the Committee for the Environment of the municipal party Efpolis

– Christos Vrettos, Communications Officer, Electra Energy Cooperative

The discussion was moderated by Ioannis Kanoupakis.

The video is available at the YouTube channel of Efpolis (in Greek).