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Wednesday 22 November 2023

Renewable Energy Communities: from Brussels the green light for the initiative

The European Commission has approved the Italian decree encouraging the self-consumption of energy from renewable sources. The decree focuses on two measures: an incentive tariff on renewable energy produced and shared and a non-repayable contribution. The financeable power is equal to five Gigawatts in total, with a time limit at the end of 2027.

The decree will allow the Renewable Energy Communities (REC) to become a widespread reality throughout the country, contributing to the development of renewable sources. The importance of this measure lies in its direct impact on the participation of citizens in the production of renewable energy, allowing them to benefit economically from self-consumption without the need to directly have space for renewable plants.

The European Commission has validated the Italian model, paving the way for potential similar initiatives in other European countries, recognising the innovative Italian approach to the promotion of renewable sources.

The non-repayable contribution, which can reach 40% of the eligible costs for municipalities with fewer than 5,000 inhabitants, is a significant step in making such initiatives accessible even in smaller contexts.

Focus | What are RECs

RECs are autonomous legal entities, such as associations, consortia, cooperatives or foundations. Participation in a REC is open and voluntary, without principal commercial or industrial activity, and may be discontinued while maintaining final consumer rights. 
The shareholders or members exercising control may be natural persons, SMEs, local authorities, research and training bodies, religious, third sector and environmental protection bodies, as well as local governments. The main objective of a REC is to provide environmental, economic or social benefits at community level to its members or to the local areas in which it operates. In summary, RECs represent a form of organisation that promotes the production and use of renewable energy at Community level, with a focus on shared environmental, economic and social benefits. 


The PNRR will finance this measure with 2.2 billion euros, with the aim of realising a total power of at least 2 Gigawatts. The non-repayable contribution may be cumulated with the incentive rate within defined limits.

The expected benefits relate to all renewable technologies, such as photovoltaics, wind, hydroelectrics and biomass. For RECs, the recipients of the measure may be groups of citizens, condominiums, SMEs, but also local authorities, cooperatives, associations and religious bodies. The power of individual plants cannot exceed the Megawatt.


The 'Transition to the Renewable Energy Communities Ecosystem' project, born within the LE2C Cluster, plays a crucial role in supporting the creation and dissemination of CERs.

As well as providing practical support – through the development of innovative management and optimisation software to support the monitoring of costs and incentives – the project aims to raise public awareness of the importance of renewable sources for environmental and economic sustainability.

For further details on the project, click HERE.

For more information on the decreto,  visit the dedicated page on the MASE website.

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