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10 March 2021

First Italian Renewable Energy Community created by the end of 2020

Logo CER

Before Christmas 2020, the City of Magliano Alpi, Piedmont, created in compliance with the European RED-II Directive (adopted by the Italian Government on February 28th, 2020) the first Italian Renewable Energy Community (REC).

The REC is working on a new development model based on the production and sustainable use of energy. Building retrofit and energy communities play a key role for the creation of value and the economic and social recovery after the pandemic. 

The technologies applied in the Renewable Energy Community allow for the definition of innovative energy management models. European legislation aims at the centrality of the citizen who becomes “prosumer” (producer and consumer) and must be guaranteed a more equitable and sustainable access to the electricity market. At the heart of this evolution are the "Energy Communities": the objective of these entities is to allow citizens to create innovative forms of aggregation and governance in the energy field to generate benefits for individuals and the community - both economic and quality of life - and to provide services on the territory.

In November 2016, the European Commission presented a package of proposals, called "Clean Energy for all Europeans Package" (CEP), with the aim of helping to fulfill the commitments made by the EU with the Paris Agreement. The proposal led to the adoption of eight legislative acts, which took place between 2018 and the first half of 2019, with which the European Union reformed its framework for energy policy. Of particular importance are the Directives 2018/2001, or RED-II, (which introduces the "Renewable Energy Communities") and 944/2019 (which defines the "Citizens' Energy Communities"), which are being implemented by the Member States.

Since this is a real change of paradigm - with significant advantages for end users - the evolution must necessarily take place in successive steps and in the face of strategic and policy choices by regulatory authorities and states. It is necessary to analyze the possible evolutionary scenarios with scientific rigor, carrying out experiments and verifications in pilot sites. The Municipality of Magliano Alpi is "quite complex" to ensure the significance of the results, but with characteristics of territorial limitation and governability and able to operate as a local ecosystem devoted to acting as a catalyst for change with a view to technological and organizational replicability .

Within the new paradigm for energy management, buildings (public, residential, corporate) represent a key element: energy efficiency associated with self-production systems of electricity makes the flow of energy between the building and the grid bidirectional.

The aggregation of buildings within a territorial area can therefore enable investment thresholds of interest for private investors. Bringing together groups or single buildings of a community with innovative (smart) criteria enables them to become "nodes" of an "energy community", making possible new and profitable economic and financial processes.

The Municipality of Magliano Alpi represents a "Pilot Territory" where new business models and new financial products can be effectively tested, according to a "bottom-up" approach that starts from the systematic enhancement of the opportunities offered by this post-pandemic moment in the which is imperative to ride the change with courage and determination.

The President of the REC is Mr. Marco Bailo, Mayor of the City of Magliano Alpi. Mr. Sergio Olivero, Leader of the “Deep Retrofitting Initiative” of the Smart Cities Marketplace, is the President of the Scientific Committee.