Regulation for Community Based Energy Systems through Storage and Flexibility: Aceptability, Governance and Digital Operation

Energy transition will have to be not only sustainable and renewable, but also fairer, more democratic and decentralised, adding new actors and authorities in the performance of the energy systems and therefore challenging the current system of public and private management and governance

The hierarchical, centralised, fossil fuel-based energy system model has been overtaken by the emergence of three intertwined factors:

  • The climate emergency and the ecological and fossil energy crises.
  • Societal rejection against the dominant energy model and local resistance even to renewable energy projects.
  • Technological advances in the areas of sustainability and digitalisation.


Main researchers

Dr. Endrius Cocciolo

Universitat Rovira i Virgili endrius.cocciolo (at) 0000-0003-1982-6147

Dra. Susana Galera Rodrigo

Universidad Rey Juan Carlos susana.galera (at) 0000-0002-8395-5843

Research team

  • Dr. Jordi Jaria-Manzano, URV
  • Dr. Josep Ramon Fuentes Gasó, URV
  • Dra. Remedios Zamora Rosselló, UMA
  • Dra. Vanessa Jiménez Serranía, UOC
  • Dra. Estrella Gutiérrez, UCM
  • Dr. Josep Maria Arauzo Carod, URV
  • Dr. José Manuel Giménez Gómez, URV
  • Dr. Miguel Carlos Manjón Antolín, URV
  • Dr. Alberto Coronas Salcedo, URV
  • Dr. Jordi Castellà-Roca, URV
  • Mr. Jesús A. Manjón, URV

Work team

  • Mr. Joan Herrera Torres, URV
  • Dr. Lorenzo Squintani, Universidad de Groningen
  • Dra Lea Diestelmeier, Universidad de Groningen
  • Dr. Romain Mauger, Universidad de Groningen
  • Dra. Laura Presicce, URV
  • Mrs. Aloia López Ferro, URV
  • Dr. Carles Anglès Tafalla, URV
  • Mr. Cristòfol Daudén, URV
  • Mrs. Julia Saenz Herrero, URJC


Analyse the factors influencing the acceptability of Energy Communities and match them with the legal procedures for citizen participation in order to enhance community support.

  • Analyse whether community acceptability of energy infrastructures depends on the legal form of the agents charged of energy production, storage and distribution.
  • Analyse whether community acceptability of energy infrastructures depends on assets provided locally from the agents charged of energy production, storage and distribution.
  • Analyse whether legal procedures for participation adequately capture the representation of the diversity of community interests and how citizens affected and other stakeholders can be encouraged to engage with communities in a meaningful way.

Analyse impacts and developments on current regulation –energy system, buildings, urban planning, among others– caused by upcoming reforms stemming from the Policy Strategies on the Change of Energy Model in line with the European legislation on Energy Transition and the European Green Deal.

  • Map energy system integration (ESI) possibilities (energy vectors/storages etc.) and analyse the regulatory framework in order to identify obstacles and gaps and propose the necessary legal measures to achieve a higher level of ESI.
  • Map the (para)legal state of art regarding local energy communities in Spain, which is currently scattered among different legal provisions, soft-law and political strategies at the EU level referring to energy efficiency, renewables, heating and cooling, buildings, funding priorities, public procurement, EU Urban Agenda, while at the national level it is regulated at different territorial levels and developed in several National Plans (as the Energy and Climate National Plan, the Adaptation National Plan, the Storage Strategy, the Self-Consumption Strategy, among others).
  • Analyse possible models for the legal architectures of energy communities.

Analyse the legal challenges to implement digitalization of energy communities, data-driven smart-grid and energy demand flexibility through artificial intelligence and machine learning.

  • Systematise what is meant to be the digitalization of the energy system, according to the current legal framework and analyse legal implications of smart-grid deployment in terms of: data management, governance and non-discriminatory and transparent procedures for access to data, data interoperability and quality, data protection and security and sustainability of data-driven technologies.
  • Analyse the application of blockchain-based network models to the legal relations of energy communities and address the problems arising from exchanges and payments via crypoassets, the protection of prosumers, conduct that may lead to breaches of competition law and data protection law.
  • Analyse the current legal framework of Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Machine Learning (ML) solutions applicable to energy communities and formulate regulatory proposals to holistically address issues related to standardisation rules, data availability and quality, privacy, data protection and cybersecurity.


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