A group of co-ops in the Magliano Alpi, northern Italy, have formed the country’s first renewable energy community (REC).
RECs are a legal entity created the EU in a directive adopted by the Italian Government last February. Based on open and voluntary participation, an REC is autonomous and controlled by shareholders and members who live near the renewable energy projects which are developed and owned by the organisation.
Shareholders and members include small and medium enterprises, and local authorities, in the region, and its primary purpose is to provide environmental, economic or social community benefits, rather than to achieve financial profits.
The stated objectives of the REC are:
• the design, creation and management of other RECs in the area
• co-operation with national and international public and private entities
• to act as the catalyst for the “smart city”
• to support neighbouring cities through their energy transition
• the research on RECs, including co-operation with academic institutions
• energy planning
• offer services to citizens for energy management
• international co-operation
• communication in the form of workshops and events
Magliano plans to form a series of MECs with five other cities to form a citizen energy community (CEC) once the legal form – again devised by the EU – is transposed to Italy next year.
The EU hopes to use energy communities to drive the decentralisation of renewable energy generation and increase citizen participation.