Belgium

Collective self-consumers

In Wallonia, in October 2018, a framework for CSC was adopted.

The Flamish energy law of 2020 groups the concepts “active consumer” and “self-consumer of renewable energy” into one combined concept of “active consumer”. No separate concept is created in the Flemish regulations for “jointly acting renewables self-consumers”.  In the foreseen framework, multiple users or residents of the same (apartment) building can share locally produced energy.

RECs and CECs

Wallonia:

In May 2019, a decree defining RECs with reference to the REDII was adopted (Gouvernement Wallon 2019). According to this framework, the purpose of a renewable energy community is to produce, consume, store and sell renewable electricity for the benefit of participants at the local level using the public network or a private grid. The REC should further balance consumption and production flows in the community grid. Several entities (natural or legal persons), within a “local perimeter”, can agree to share and store their production and electricity consumption based on electricity exclusively produced from sources of renewable energy or quality cogeneration (co-generation with an increased efficiency compared to dissociated production).  The law defines a “local perimeter” as a grid segment whose connection points are located downstream of  one  or  more  stations of public  electricity  transformation of  medium  and  /  or  low voltage. Thus, as opposed to spatial boundaries by distance, local perimeters can have differing extents. The definition of local perimeter refers to a “technically, socially, environmentally and economically optimal” section of the grid to  promote  local  self-consumption.  It can therefore be differentiated  by  taking  into  account  the technical constraints of the network and the characteristics of the participants. In fact, according to the decree, the government determines the local perimeter after consulting the Wallonian Energy Commission (CWaPE) and the network operators.  According to the law, any natural person, local authority or small or medium company located in a local perimeter can participate in a renewable energy community. Participation is free and open. The specific conditions will be defined by future pieces of legislation. So far, the law defines the technical requirements for energy communities, while governance aspects are not yet addressed. The Walloon government has the right to review the list of eligible participants. Corporate participants must not have energy as their primary professional or commercial activity. The procedure to create a REC requires the approval of the regulator and the DSO. This authorisation is provided for a set time and can be renewed. The government also foresees, in concertation with the DSOs and the regulator, measures to facilitate the growth of RECs.

Flanders:

The Flemish government, in November 2020, published a draft legal framework for transposing the EMD and partially transposing the REDII (Flemish Government 2020). The draft law states that energy communities can carry out activities in the areas of production, distribution, consumption, supply, aggregation, flexibility, energy sharing, storage, electric vehicle charging services, energy efficiency services or other energy services and proposes the introduction of local flexibility markets.  While the transposition of RECs and CECs generally corresponds to the EU directives, some specific provisions for energy communities are introduced. These include that the participation in a renewable energy community is based on technical or geographic proximity, also taking into account activities that the renewable energy community wants to achieve. The Flemish Government can determine criteria for the concept of technical or geographical proximity (Flemish Government 2020).

Source: Frieden et al., 2020