Citizen Energy

Citizen energy concepts are increasingly important – as they are in Germany’s Central and Eastern European neighbours and partner countries. In recent years, civic energy has gained importance across Europe, especially in the generation of electricity from renewable sources. The decentralised nature of photovoltaic, bioenergy and wind power plants opens up additional opportunities for civic engagement, cooperation in the energy sector and a more active role for individual citizens in the community.

Citizen energy approaches are seen as an important building block for the transformation of the European Union’s energy system towards a greenhouse gas neutral energy supply by 2050. The European Union has set requirements through the inclusion of the topic of civic energy in the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) in 2018 and the EU Internal Electricity Market Directive in 2019, which have led to increased engagement with this concept and legal adjustments in many Central and Eastern European countries.

Citizen energy concepts, whether as citizen energy cooperatives, citizen energy communities, renewable energy communities or other forms, aim to support the energy transition through decentralised energy production initiated and implemented by citizens. The focus is on the idea of a participatory energy supply in line with social values. Various actors such as individuals, municipalities, small businesses, start-ups or even farmers are driving forces in the initiation of citizen energy concepts.

Beyond the potential for environmental relief, citizen energy projects can bring a number of other benefits, including strengthening regional value creation, creating local jobs, reducing energy imports and associated increased energy security, promoting renewable energy and involving citizens in decision-making processes.

These advantages make citizen energy an important instrument for the energy transition and the creation of a sustainable energy supply. It not only promotes local development, but also the active participation and commitment of citizens in the energy transition and can increase local acceptance for the expansion of renewable energies.

Against the backdrop of this increased relevance of the topic of citizen energy in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, the DBU would like to support exemplary projects, which


The framework conditions for citizen energy concepts in Central and Eastern Europe are diverse and include legal, financial, cultural and institutional aspects. The posted country profiles provide insights into these framework conditions, developments and potentials of citizen energy in the respective regions. Please note that the country profiles were created in 2022 and the framework conditions may change over time.

The overarching goal is to pool existing knowledge and insights on the topic of civic energy, to promote exchange between stakeholders and to raise awareness of the importance of civic energy in Central and Eastern Europe.