Regulatory workshop in Cagliari

The Lightness project had one of the Regulatory Workshop last june, as part of an engagement plan to involve different stakeholders. These workshops are meant to stimulate the ongoing debate around Citizen Energy Communities, their value and impact. Within Lightness, 4 regulatory workshops are planned (in Western and Eastern Europe), with relevant stakeholders, potential end-users interested in joining the Lightness community, policymakers, and market players interested in replication of the project results.

On June 9th 2022, ENEA organized the first Regulatory workshop with policymakers, regulatory entities and stakeholders involved in the promotion of Energy Communities’ in the city of Cagliari (Italy). The Lightness project was presented along with the projects’ pilot in Cagliari. Throughout the workshop, conclusions were drawn about the difficulties in carrying out a project that develops new tools and processes to engage communities in the future of energy.

The workshop served to cover and engaged policymakers in discussions around the role of municipalities. The GSE (the Italian regulatory entity that provides support to the Public Administration, in charge of managing incentive mechanisms for renewable sources and energy efficiency) participated and described how municipalities can be part of and stimulate the adoption of Energy Communities in their territories, and how they can benefit from state incentives and address energy poverty.

The audience was given an overview of Energy Communities’ uptake in the European scenario of the Lightness partners’ countries. The experience of the crowdfunding campaign organized for the Cagliari pilot of Lightness served to illustrate and drive key learnings from a novel experience of financing collective energy management projects.

The main regulatory barriers found both at the national and local levels were identified in:

  • lack of knowledge about the mechanisms that regulate the energy market and the energy system.
  • burden of bureaucracy, especially considering the long time required for the installation and connection of photovoltaic systems to the electrical network.
 

Especially for the smaller municipalities, a critical point is being able to have partners with a technical profile and legal management skills, since there is a general lack of technical personnel.

Fortunately, representatives of local authorities (Sindaco di Ussaramanna, Sindaco di Villanovaforru, Sindaco di Serrenti) strongly support the benefits of Energy Communities, which represents an innovative way of spreading in local areas a model of democratic and participatory governance where citizens become active parties in the energy market.

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