Collective self–consumption and renewable energy communities

Portugal in 2019 introduced a framework for self-consumption of renewable energy on individual and collective level and by renewable energy communities (Comunidades de Energia Renovável) (Decree Law 162/2019). Thereby, the REDII was partially transposed.  Previously, self-consumption was limited to the individual level (Decree-Law No. 153/2014). The 2019 decree does not yet include citizen energy communities. Since January 1st 2020, individual and collective self-consumption projects and projects for collective self-consumption in RECs are possible as far as they have an intelligent counting system and are installed at the same voltage level. The 2019 decree law adopts the major lines of the EU REDII in terms of membership, possible activities etc. and the need to form a legal person.

Network tariffs for self-consumption using the public network are already in place, currently regulated by the Regulamento do Autoconsumo establishing the methodology (RAC, Regulamento n.º 266/2020) and the Directive n.º 1/2021 establishing the specific tariff levels. For collective self-consumption schemes connected by the public grid the tariff for the self-consumed energy is calculated taking into account only the tension level used (for self-consumed energy e.g. within a REC on low voltage level only low voltage network tariffs apply). If a self-consumption installation is located at a voltage level where reverse flows occur (i.e. from lower to higher voltage levels), the deduction of network use tariffs of higher voltage levels might be only partial. However, in practice, this is so far negligible. In June 2020, a new law was published that exempts collective self-consumption schemes to different extents from paying an element of the network charges called CIEG (Custos de Interesse Económico Geral). For individual self-consumption projects, 50% of CIEG costs are discounted, for collective self-consumption (including in but not limited to RECs) 100%. The CIEG are the costs of energy policy, environmental or general economic interests associated with the production of electricity and the costs of sustainability of markets (Despacho n.º 6453/2020).

RECs and CECs

Portugal has no legislation on Citizens Energy communities yet.