Two workshops were held in Croatia, one in Zagreb on 31st of March 2023 and the other in Cres on 4th of May 2023. In order to properly account for the use of resources, and to establish the impact of the initiatives we needed to gather insightful feedback from stakeholders.
The participants expressed a significant interest in the topic of energy communities and were active during the workshops. The key question remained the regulatory barriers, joint investments and benefits from the energy communities.
The first workshop group consisted mainly of policy stakeholders and academia, while the other group was mainly citizens.
Key outcomes and conclusions from the workshop are summarised in the below bullet points:
• The key motivation for forming the energy community is economical – cost savings
• Through public consultations and information sessions it is possible to engage citizens –
locally established info points would be useful
• Main regulation barriers are the lack of policies and supporting frameworks as well as long
bureaucratic process for permitting and approval once the regulation is existing
• Lack of trust and limited understanding of the benefits are the primary obstacles to engaging
in energy community – possible solution are similar to the second point, public consultations,
meetings and sessions
• Lack of technical knowledge and expertise is also pointed out as an obstacle to the establishment
of energy communities
• Provision of tools that use real-time data is a requirement for the successful operation of energy
In the workshop, an overview of existing legislation regarding energy communities was given and the
missing legislation was also identified. The stakeholders were also introduced to good EU
examples of the energy communities with the purpose of demonstrating the benefits of forming energy communities. This was also connected to the COMMUNITAS project and the stakeholders had the opportunity to see what will be done in this project. Special interest was shown regarding the leader pilots as well as tools for managing the energy community. However, the key focus of the workshop remained regarding the legislative issues existing currently in Croatia due to missing acts that would enable the forming of energy communities. During the analysis of the questionnaire, the focus also remained on these issues.
It is expected that, after the needed legislation is introduced, the focus will shift to more technical aspects such as tools for managing energy communities, energy, and revenue sharing schemes, also renewables and flexibility assets installations.