Skip to main content
European Commission logo
Clean energy for EU islands
Regulatory informationCommunity energy policies

Energy communities, energy cooperatives, energy clusters

Abbreviated form of legal source(s)

  • GenG 2020
  • KStG 2003
  • GewStG 2020
  • EEG 2021

Summary

Energy communities (Bürgerenergiegesellschaft) in Germany are defined in the Renewable Energies Law and the definition is directly connected to their participation in tender procedures, where they can benefit from simplification of the tendering procedures for onshore wind turbines.
Regulations on Energy communities depend on their legal form. As cooperatives (Genossenschaften) they are favored in the tax system. Financial support is granted through the usual schemes in the renewable energy act. In the wind-tendering procedure, cooperatives can benefit from a higher market premium.

Addressees

An energy community in the EEG 2021 must have at least 10 natural persons as members. At least 51 % of the voting rights must be held by natural persons who have registered their place of residence in the town or region of the planned project at least one-year prior submission. No member must hold more than 10 % of the shares.
For a general cooperation, at least three members of either natural persons or also organizations can build a cooperative (§§ 1, 2 and 4 GenG 2020). The aim must either be to improve the economic situation or the social or cultural concerns of the members (§ 1 par. 1 GenG 2020).

Requirements and conditions

After their foundation and when they have developed a business plan, energy communities must register as a member of a statutory auditing association (Genossenschaftsverband) (§ 54 GenG 2020) if they want to become a registered cooperative (eG). Registered cooperatives consist of members, who usually hold shares of the cooperative (§ 7a GenG 2020). The cooperative has to set up statutory provisions (§ 6 GenG 2006).
Further requirements and conditions can be found in the GenG 2020.
To benefit from higher market premiums energy communities must fulfil the requirement set in the §3 par.15 EEG 2021. They can participate in the tendering procedure with up to 6 wind power plants with a total capacity not exceeding 18 MW. The municipality must either hold a share of 10 % from the energy community or must be offered the share (§ 36g par. 1 EEG 2021). Neither a member nor the energy community must have submitted a bid for other project in the past 12 months or a bid for the same auctioning that would exceed the 18 MW limit.

Geographical limitations

No geographical limitations are set by law. Details are to be determined in the statutory provisions.

Financial support

Financial support can be received through the subsidies for electricity from renewable sources in the EEG 2021 (e.g. Tenant electricity surcharge). The amount depends on the size of the project.
For wind power plants from energy communities according to §36g EEG 2021, the given value for the market premium shall be the bid value of the highest bid still won on the same bid date.

Type of energy sharing

  • Energy communities, energy cooperatives, energy clusters   : Relevant