With the implementation of the National Plan for Recovery and Resilience (PNRR), Italian municipalities are called upon to explore new opportunities to promote sustainable development and tackle energy challenges. Among the innovative instruments that can play a key role in this context, energy communities are proving to be a promising solution.
The European Commission’s approval of the decree of the Ministry of Environment and Energy Security (MASE) on renewable energy communities, which sets out the legal framework for the new community energy incentive tariff and the modalities for applying for capital grants under the PNRR, also points in this direction.
Energy communities: a new cooperation model
Energy communities represent a new approach to energy management in which citizens, businesses and local institutions work together to produce, consume and share renewable energy. This model promotes the decentralisation of energy, reduces dependence on unsustainable sources and contributes to the transition to a cleaner energy system.
Benefits for municipalities in the current legal framework
In the current legal framework, energy communities offer several advantages to Italian municipalities involved in the implementation of the PNRR:
- Fiscal incentives and funding: the Italian legislation provides fiscal incentives and subsidised funding for initiatives related to renewable energy and sustainability, helping municipalities to finance local energy projects through specific regional, national and European tenders.
- Involvement of the local community: Energy communities actively involve citizens in decision-making and energy production. This not only promotes environmental awareness, but also creates a stronger bond between the local population and their community.
- Reduction of CO2 emissions: By generating energy from renewable sources, energy communities contribute significantly to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. This is in line with the climate protection goals of the PNRR and international agreements.
Implementation paths for municipalities
In order to successfully implement energy communities within the framework of the PNRR, municipalities can follow a few important steps:
- Analysis of the area: assessment of the potential for renewable energies in the municipality and determination of the local energy demand.
- Conducting feasibility studies: defining the characteristics, costs and expected results in their territorial context.
- Collection of members: Promote the active participation of citizens, businesses and local associations in the decision-making process to ensure diverse representation within the energy communities.
- Access to financing: exploring the financing possibilities available at national and European level to support renewable energy projects and energy communities.
- Cooperation with the private sector: promoting partnerships with the private sector for the development and joint management of energy facilities.
The “Flaibano Energy Community”: an example of cooperation between the public and the private sectors
Maps Group has already contributed to the development of several energy community projects throughout Italy, collaborating on energy community and collective self-consumption group projects with the most qualified and diverse players in Italy (utilities, ESCOs, photovoltaic installers, energy cooperatives, consortiums). In this context, the Flaibano Energy Community in the region of Friuli Venezia Giulia is an important model for cooperation between public and private actors in the development of energy communities in the municipal area. This REC was carried out within the framework of the Recocer Project an initiative aimed at creating a network of renewable energy communities in the 15 municipalities involved: Buja, Colloredo di Monte Albano, Coseano, Dignano, Fagagna, Flaibano, Forgaria nel Friuli, Majano, Moruzzo, Osoppo, Ragogna, Rive D’Arcano, San Daniele del Friuli, San Vito di Fagagna and Treppo Grande.
ROSE Energy Community: the MAPS solution for CACER
To support and facilitate the development of new renewable energy communities, MAPS Group has developed the ROSE Energy Community solution, the software solution that simplifies and optimizes the activities of creating and managing RECs, from the preliminary analysis of energy flows to the estimation of economic performance for carrying out feasibility studies. ROSE Energy Community supports the promotion of REC projects and their administrative, accounting and operational management.
ROSE Energy Community Designer is a cloud-based software for preliminary simulation and energy and economic analysis of renewable energy sharing configurations. It provides an estimation of key performance indicators that help to carry out techno-economic feasibility studies of energy communities and self-consumption groups, supports developers in improving their business models and contributes to the formulation of a long-term strategy for the management of renewable energy sharing projects.
ROSE Energy Community Promoter supports the identification and management of people interested in participating in an energy community, from the collection of expressions of interest to the completion of the process of registering as a full member of the community.
It provides a dedicated web interface that is highly configurable and integrated into the management platform, allowing the optimization of the promotion and development activities of the members of an energy community with just a few clicks. Facilitates the collection of each member’s data and documents required by the Energy Community contact person to apply for access to funding.