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Rural Energy Community Advisory Hub
News article13 April 2023Directorate-General for Energy

Rural energy communities across Europe have applied for technical assistance

Suited man in a field with his hands behind his head looking at wind turbines that have been drawn onto the image

The Rural Energy Community Advisory Hub (RECAH) has received 47 eligible applications for technical assistance. The requests came from rural energy communities across 13 European countries.

The RECAH’s call for applications for technical assistance was open for four months (September to December 2022). During this period, a total of 47 eligible applications were received from rural energy communities in the following countries:      

Graph showing number of eligible applications by country as follows: Belgium - 1, Croatia - 2, Cyprus - 1, France - 2, Greece - 4, Hungary - 6, Ireland - 5, Italy - 6, Latvia - 3, Poland - 2, Portugal -1, Romania - 3 and Spain - 11

An application was seen as eligible if the applying energy community itself and/or its activities were located in a rural area and adhered to the definition of what the European Union considered to be an energy community (i.e. Renewable Energy Communities (REC) or Citizen Energy Communities (CEC)). The RECAH used the Degree of Urbanisation (DEGURBA) classification to determine if an energy community and/or the activities/project(s) were located in an area classified as a ‘rural area’. Energy communities that have activities related to the energy technology biogas (e.g. pumping) would be automatically classified as a rural energy community as well.

The 47 eligible applications were assessed based on the assessment criteria and 25 rural energy communities from across Europe were selected. The RECAH will deliver technical assistance to 25 communities in the following countries:

Number of technical assistance recipients by country as follows: Croatia - 1, Cyprus - 1, France - 1, Greece - 3, Hungary - 3, Ireland - 2, Italy - 5, Latvia - 1, Poland - 1, Portugal - 1, Romania - 1 and Spain - 5.

Even though the call for applications for the RECAH technical assistance is closed, other forms of support are available for existing or prospective rural energy communities. Guidance documents on setting up and maintaining rural energy communities are available on the RECAH website as well as a collection of reports that showcase rural energy community best practice examples from across Europe.

General information about the eligible applicants

Of the eligible applicants, 13 rural energy communities were established during or before 2021, whilst the other 34 were established in 2022 or after.

There were 11 applications from rural energy communities that had already started operating, while 36 applicants were yet to start operations.

In their applications, the rural energy communities indicated what activities they intended to focus on (they could choose multiple). Self-consumption was an activity that 36 applicants said they would focus on, whilst 31 indicated they would focus on energy sharing; 21 on energy production; 20 on community network and energy efficiency; and 17 on the local energy system and energy generation.

Forms of technical assistance requested

Applicants could request multiple forms of technical assistance. In total, the 47 applicants requested 153 different forms of technical assistance from eligible applicants.

Graph showing the number of applicants requesting different forms of technical assistance

Investment & financial support was the most popular form of technical assistance requested; 39 applicants requested this type of support.

Legal & regulatory support got requested by 36 applicants, technology-and-system-related advice by 31, capacity development and knowledge-transfer support by 27, and communication support by 20.

Types of energy technologies that RECs intend to focus on

Of the eligible applicants, 44 out of 47 applicants indicated that solar was one of the energy technologies that they intended to focus on.

The energy technologies applicants intend to focus on (multiple were allowed per application) are the following:

Graph showing the number of applicants focusing on different energy technologies as per: Solar - 44, Energy efficient technologies for buildings - 16, storage - 14, mobility - 13, energy efficiency, heat pumps, and electric vehicles - 11



Publication date
13 April 2023
Directorate-General for Energy