Czech Republic

Collective self-consumers

In the Czech Republic collective self consumption is not possible.

RECs and CECs

The new Czech energy act (Czech  Ministry of Industry and Trade 2020) provides the basic framework for energy communities in the Czech Republic. It was submitted to the inter-ministerial comment procedure in June 2020. It also transposes other requirements of the Clean Energy Package such as the concept of the active consumer. The draft legislation foresees a general basic definition that would be common to citizen energy communities and renewable energy communities. The law therefore uses the  common term “energy community” for both types of communities.

The common concepts of citizen energy communities and renewable energy communities is that:

  • it is a legal entity within the meaning of the Czech Civil Code;
  • the  main purpose  is not to make a profit, but to provide environmental, economic or social benefits to its shareholders or members or to the local areas where they operate;
  • participation is based on a voluntary basis.

The law, thereby, adopts a minimum set of definitions in line with both the REDII and the EMD. The new legislation proposes to leave it to the founders, shareholders or members, which specific legal form they adopt. However, not all legal entities in the Czech Republic fulfill the features of an energy community in  line with the EU framework. For example, foundations and endowment funds cannot be energy communities. An Association of Unit Owners as such can only become an energy community if all members agree, as the ownership of housing units requires membership in the Association of Unit Owners, and the criterion of voluntary membership would otherwise not be fulfilled. The definition of “effective control” will still be developed in the future in order to guarantee consistency with the Commercial Corporations Act and the Civil Code.

Energy communities may be authorized to operate a local distribution system, provided that all the rights of customers connected to that system are maintained in the same way as for other distribution system operators. Energy communities will be required to pay  appropriate network and similar charges under conditions still to be specified. In the event that the energy community is interested in carrying out business activities, it needs to have an appropriate license from the energy regulator for these purposes. In any case, the defined conditions for energy communities need to be met, i.e., making a profit and entrepreneurship must not be its main purpose.

Source: Frieden et al., 2020