Reports on regulatory framework for positive energy neighbourhoods for Spain, Flanders (Belgium) and Estonia

Jul 10, 2024

The recast EPBD explicitly mentions the neighbourhood approach, sets minimum energy standards, and addresses energy poverty, all of which are elements of the PEN approach. These three country reports for Spain, Flanders (Belgium) and Estonia, analyse national and regional implementation of EU policies relevant for enabling the positive neighbourhood approach to building renovations.

Following a detailed analysis of policies at EU level that enable the Positive Energy Neighbourhood approach to renovations, these reports authored by BPIE (Buildings Performance Institute Europe) provide a deep dive of national and regional implementation of these policies in Spain, Flanders (Belgium) and Estonia.

Spain demonstrates a more proactive approach to integrating PEN features, supported  by national funding programmes focusing on renovation and local energy production.  The expansion of collective self-consumption to up to 2 km makes sharing energy from a  neighbourhood perspective easier. Recent regulatory changes such as dynamic tariffs  facilitate demand-side flexibility, which is a key element of the PEN business case. Despite these advances, confusion around the terminology and specifics of energy sharing, and a lack of expertise in whole-life carbon approaches and material reuse, remain significant barriers.

The current Flemish policy landscape does not explicitly encourage the PEN approach. However, there are various policies, incentives and initiatives in place which encourage important elements of PENs. For example, the local climate and energy pact encompassing  almost 300 municipalities aims for collective renovations and cooperative or participatory renewable energy projects. Various incentive programmes for renovation and renewable energy installation support the implementation of PENs. Flanders has also been an EU pioneer in setting Minimum Energy Performance Standards.

Estonia’s policy framework indirectly supports PENs through incentives aligned with broader energy efficiency and prefabrication strategies. The recent legal changes facilitating collective decision-making among housing associations are promising, yet challenges in CSC implementation and energy storage profitability due to double taxation reflect a need for further policy refinement.

Download the reports from here: