Außenansicht des D2 Gebäudes


FFG-project F.R.E.SCH finalized

Research field: Smart Cities, Sustainable Urban Development and Urban Transformations

The project F.R.E.SCH funded by the Austrian Climate Ministry via the Austrian Research Promotion Agency was recently finalized with the publication of a comprehensive final report.

The project was carried out by the Research Institute for Urban Management and Governance in cooperation with the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology (project lead) and the Energy Institute at Johannes Kepler University Linz (project partner) under the first call of the funding programme “Energy.Free.Room”. This funding intends to support the main goals of the national climate and energy strategy #mission2030 and the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) for the period 2021-2030.

When developing new solutions for tackling the climate crisis, innovators in the energy transition often encounter regulatory barriers. Therefore, in the context of the development and implementation of new integrated market models, storage solutions and energy technologies, policy makers increasingly consider approaches for experimenting under real-lifeconditions, also known as “regulatory sandboxes”.

The interdisciplinary consortium working on the F.R.E.SCH project carried out a consolidation and specification of subject areas and research questions relevant to the “Energy.Free.Room” programme, identified relevant regulatory challenges, assessed the impacts of remedied regulatory challenges/barriers and prioritized topics for future research. Moreover, together with key actors and stakeholders, needs for granting regulatory exemptions were assessed, for example, with a view to the implementation of research and development activities.

The analysis of key legal aspects concerning the creation of regulated experimentation in the energy sector at the levels of European law and Austrian constitutional law was carried out under the guidance of WU project leader Prof. Verena Madner. This analysis concludes that in many cases, mandatory legal provisions stipulated by the EU legislator prevent regulatory experimenting and that Austrian energy law does not currently contain any explicit authorization to exempt innovative projects for experimental purposes in whole or in part from legal or regulatory requirements. A differentiated implementation of the relevant energy directives in relation to energy communities and the creation of a legal basis that allows the authority to determine specifically tailored experimental space could address this issue. From a constitutional law perspective, any such legal basis has to be sufficiently specific and objectively justified.

The final report for the project, which was funded by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology via the Austrian Research Promotion Agency, is available (in German) on the website of the Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology.

Project Lead WU: Univ.Prof. Dr. Verena Madner

Partners: AIT – Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH (General Management), Energieinstitut at JKU – Johannes Kepler University Linz

Supported by: Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG)/ Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK)

Duration: 09.2019 - 02.2020