Community Energy Watch

Just Transition in the Making
Last modified: February 2024
What are Energy Communities?

Energy Communities (EnComs) are civil cooperatives that are active in the energy sector, with a particular interest in Renewable Energy Sources (RES). Citizens can use this tool to produce clean energy collectively and promote energy democracy, and, therefore, have an active role in the energy transition.

Energy Community Projects

To date, Energy Community projects are mainly:
(a) self-production projects aimed at meeting the energy needs of members (virtual net-metering projects) and (b) commercial RES projects, which generate profits for community members through market participation.

In December 2023 1,689 active Energy Communities are recorded (+20% compared to 2022). Of these, 1,673 are Energy Communities under Law. 4513/2018, while 11 Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) and 5 Citizens’ Energy Communities (CECs) were established under the new institutional framework (Law 5037/2023) adopted in March 2023.

Most connected RES projects by energy communities (306.2 MW MW) are located in Central Macedonia. Thessaly (266.6 MW) is in second place, even though it ranks fifth with regard to the number of energy communities, and is followed by Eastern Macedonia – Thrace (180.6 MW), Central Greece (112.7 MW) and Western Macedonia (80.5MW), the latter rank, respectively, sixth, seventh and second place in terms of number of EnComs.

Local communities’ interest in establishing EnComs does not match their capability to implement projects, as the Regions with the highest installed capacity by EnCom projects do not coincide with those with the highest number of energy communities.

Commercial projects by Energy Communities

  • In August 2023, the installed capacity of Energy Community RES projects recorded nationwide amounts to 1.064.2 MW, which corresponds to 1,462 projects, constitutes 13.6% of RES projects’ total installed capacity, and denotes a 33.9% increase in installed capacity compared to November 2022 (795 MW).
  • No RECs or CECs projects are recorded based on available data until August 2023.

40% of requested commercial projects by EnCom had been cancelled (2,277 projects, 1,822.5 ΜW).

34.5% of requested commercial projects by EnCom are pending (1,892 projects, 1,575.2 MW).

Self – production by Energy Communities

  • In December 2023, the installed capacity of Energy Community RES projects nationwide amounts 1,164 MW, which corresponds to 1,580 projects. They represent 17.5% of the total installed capacity of low-medium voltage RES projects.
  • No REC or CEC projects are registered based on the available data until December 2023.
  • In December 2023, Peloponnese leads in project requests (130 projects, 61.5MW). This is followed by Central Macedonia (111 projects, 71.3MW) and Central Greece (97 projects, 56.5MW).

145.6%  increase in connection requests for self-production projects by EnComs compared to 2022.

144.5%  increase in requested capacity by self-production projects by EnComs compared to 2022.

More than tripling the number of electrified projects (from 12 in 2022 to 44 in 2023)).

14 MW of electrified capacity in Dec 2023 (from 4.2 MW in 2022).

16.5% of requested capacity of self-production projects by EnComs was cancelled. Thus, from 0.28MW in 2022 the cancelled capacity shot up to 41.62 MW in 2023.

79.6% of the requested capacity is pending (461 projects).

Development of self-production

  • Significant growth has been observed in self-production overall in the period 2022 – 2023, namely, cumulatively in net-metering by individual households and businesses and in virtual net-metering by energy communities and other entities (+131.8% in the number of requests and +65.1% in capacity).
  • By December 2023, the total capacity requested for net metering and virtual net metering was 2,010 MW (35,162 applications), an increase of 65.1% in capacity compared to 2022 (15,169 projects, 1,218 MW).
  • The electrified capacity of self-production projects amounts to 421 MW (13,470 projects) in 2023; this is almost double (+94.5%) that recorded in November 2022. While almost doubled compared to 2022 (217 MW, 6,186 projects), it remains much lower than the increased interest of citizens, as it is only 21% of the requested capacity.
  • Of the 1,220 MW of pending self-production projects (60.7% of the requested projects), 389 MW belong to Energy Communities.
  • The sum of the electrified capacity and the capacity of the pending self-production projects reaches 1,642 MW, approaching the 2 GW of electrical space for self-projects projects foreseen by Law 5037/2023. This fact should be taken seriously into account in future planning for the allocation of available electricity space.