A decentralised electricity system - myths and facts

The current energy system is going through a substantive change. Renewables are playing an ever bigger role throughout Europe, which also comes with a different ownership structure: big companies meet unexpected competition by citizen cooperatives, and private individuals and small companies increasingly develop from mere consumers into prosumers – producers and consumers of electricity at a time. This “decentralisation” of generation has many implications, be it on grid planning and operation, power structures, or ownership.

There are many myths and uncertainties about these implications and the mutual dependencies. During our one-day workshop, we shed some light on current discussion topics, including

  • the status quo of decentralisation in Europe
  • implications of a more decentralised generation for the transmission and distribution grids 
  • opportunities for citizen cooperatives to shape the future energy system
  • the influence of the legal framework and investment decisions


10:00 Welcome
Antonella Battaglini | Renewables Grid Initiative 
Molly Walsh | Friends of the Earth Europe | Community Power

10:15 A decentralised electricity system: definition and current trends in Europe
Thomas Ackermann | energynautics | Presentation

10:45 Case study A from Scotland | Community Power Project
Julia Gutierre | Community Energy Scotland | Presentation

11:45 Community experience with distribution networks: challenges regarding the legal framework 
Setting the scene: Presentation of model legal frameworks for citizen-owned renewable energy and recommendations for grids and community energy
Robert Rybski | ClientEarth

Legal framework for grid connection and use in Germany
Dr. Dörthe Fouquet | Becker Büttner Held | Presentation

Legal framework for grid connection and use in the UK
Rebecca Lawson | Forum for the Future | Presentation

14:00 Distributed generation: trends and opportunities for consumers
Alexandre Roesch | EPIA | Presentation

14:30 A decentralised electricity system: implications for highest voltage electricity grids
Jean-Baptiste Paquel | ENTSO-E | Presentation

15:00 Case study B from Austria
Roland Sperr | LINZ STROM Netz | Presentation

16:00 Panel discussion: integrating community projects into the grid
Florian Chapalain | EDSO for Smart Grids 
Thomas Ackermann | energynautics 
Jean-Baptiste Paquel | ENTSO-E 
Robert Rybski | ClientEarth

Event partners

Photo gallery


Theresa Schneider
Senior Manager–Communication

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RGI gratefully acknowledges the EU LIFE funding support:

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Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the LIFE Programme. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.