Energy: ENEA in the 2.5 million euros EU project to promote renewable energy communities (RECs)


Supporting the dissemination of Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) on a local, national and European scale, identifying barriers, opportunities, measures and specific technological solutions for each geographical context. This is the goal of the EU project COME RES[1], funded by the Horizon2020 program with 2.5 million euro- which includes ENEA among its research partners- to facilitate the exchange of experiences and transfer of good practices to “less advanced” contexts.

The project involves 16 partners from nine European countries[2]; each at different levels of transposition of the European RED II directive[3] on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and, consequently, at a different level of development and dissemination of RECs. To speed up the process, national best practices will be presented to teams of experts from the so-called learning regions, i.e. foreign contexts in which the growth of RECs is at an early stage and there is  interest in learning from the successful experience of a 'model region'.

"In Italy we have identified, as a best practice to export to Europe, the energy community 'Energy City Hall' of Magliano Alpi in Piedmont, established in 2020, where a 20 kWp photovoltaic system installed on the roof of the town hall generates the energy which is shared with the RECs, to meet the consumption of the library, gym, schools and some residents who were the first to join in", explained Gilda Massa, researcher at the ENEA Cross Technologies Laboratory for Urban and Industrial Districts. “Two electric charging stations will then be connected to the same system, which can be used free of charge by residents. Piedmont has the goal of covering 10% of the territory with energy communities but, in general, Italy has a great potential for the development of this new form of voluntary 'energy' association, which could reach approximately 130 thousand communities ”, said the researcher.

The best practice of Magliano Alpi has been identified by the Latvia transfer team as a base from which to start its transfer to their country. "The main objective of the activities we are organizing is to make known, on the one hand, the governance structure adopted, the problems faced and the solutions adopted and, on the other, analyze the entire process of implementation of the Community directives in the Italian context. Furthermore, these 'tutoring' activities - explained Massa - enable us to address specific topics, like the rules and practical implementation of sharing electricity within a condo, the actors involved, their role in the energy community and the costs for the use of the energy distribution services".

Two new RECs are currently being set up in Magliano Alpi for an installed power of 108 kWp and, thanks to recent changes in the definitive regulatory system (law 199/2021), the three communities will merge into a larger one. Furthermore, the Municipality is entering into agreements with other cities (Matera in Basilicata, Collesalvetti in Tuscany and the Friuli Hills Community) to transfer its renewable energy community model based on five strategic elements (planning, governance, construction, management and replication ), an IoT digital platform for the analysis and management of data on GO-REC (Renewable Energy Communities Operating Group). This is the first local network of professional skills for the implementation of RECs with three main targets: citizens, to spread awareness of the advantages of energy communities and propose local companies and professionals capable of implementing them; organizations, like the PA, to support and follow the whole project (from the feasibility study to the construction of the plants to the involvement of citizens) and finally, managers of energy communities to support the needs of the community at different local levels.

"After meeting with the Latvian experts, we will continue the transfer activities, which include twinning and mentoring activities with visits, training and support to define the regulatory framework. At the operational level, the transfer groups and mentoring experts will develop roadmaps and concrete proposals on how to adapt the measures to the regions of origin taking into account - continued Mass - the legal, economic, social, political, governance and cultural contexts of each country and the considerable variety of technological solutions that can be adopted, including community photovoltaics, wind power, storage and hydroelectricity. At the end of the project, a report will be produced with the 'lessons learned' during the transfer activities which involved, in Italy alone, over 80 stakeholders interested in studying the evolving regulatory scenario and the different experiences in the field ", concluded the researcher.

For more information please contact:

Gilda Massa, ENEA – Cross Technologies for Urban and Industrial Districts Laboratory,

RECs Magliano Alpi


[1] Community Energy for the uptake of RES in the electricity sector: Connecting long-term visions with short-term actions

[2] Italy, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Portugal and Sweden.

[3] The transposition of RED II in Italy envisaged a first experimental phase which began in March 2020 (Law 8/2020) and ended in June 2021. This phase was necessary to understand the needs of the Italian scenario and how to fix or vary the specific constraints for the implementation of RECs (maximum power for generation plants from renewable sources and geographical boundaries).

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