COMMENCE – Community Energy in Central Europe

Shaping national legislation on Energy Communities and kick-starting a swift rollout of 16 renewables-centred energy communities.

Awareness Energy Communities Energy Policy Energy Transition Energy Transition and Climate-Neutral Buildings Renewable Energy

Solar system, solar panels near the house.

Project info

Countries:

Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia

Project duration:

12/23 - 11/25

Target groups:

-

Funding:

365,180.00 €

Contact info

Contact:

Boris Valach

Partner:
  • Austrian Energy Agency
  • Frank Bold Society, z.s.
  • National Society of Conservationists – Friends of the Earth Hungary
  • WiseEuropa - Foundation Warsaw Institute for Economic and European Studies

Background

Energy Communities (ECs) centred around renewables are a key measure to contribute towards the European clean energy transition and reaching the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality goal, along with initiatives such as REPowerEU. The energy transition has to be swift and just and has to involve citizens in the energy market.

A sound legal framework is a prerequisite to accelerate the rollout of ECs. However, in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, legal frameworks have been considered inadequate, while the Slovak Parliament did not introduce the initial concept of ECs until late 2022. Moreover, there is still a lack of detail on how ECs should be implemented. In contrast, Austria’s legislative framework has allowed the creation of ECs since 2021. Since then, more than 1,700 ECs have been established.

Project

The COMMENCE project promotes ECs in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia to contribute to a clean energy transition, decentralisation of energy supply and market democratisation. National guidelines on ECs and policy recommendations are developed and presented to decision makers in the four countries, empowering them to shape national legislation.

The project team kick-starts local and regional energy participation processes with local authorities and potential EC founders, who are expected to become increasingly active in the energy market. They are enabled to establish at least 16 energy communities, four in each target country, throughout the project term. In national workshops, they increase their expertise, exchange experience and discuss the establishment of ECs with national authorities. Field visits to Austria assist them to learn from Austrian success stories.

Last update: April 2024