Local energy communities, in EU directives specified as Citizens Energy Communities and Renewable Energy Communities, are legal entities who provide environmental, economic or social benefits to the local community by participating in activities like power generation, distribution and consumption.
From a power system perspective, local energy communities can provide better coordination of local resources, better utilisation of the distribution network, a more easily accessed flexibility in the distribution network, reduced loss and investment cost in the transmission network and increased innovation opportunities for grid customers. However, these benefits do not arrive automatically by regulation relaxation. It requires adequate regulations and incentives for the developments to happen in a rational way.
Local energy communities can also bring negative impact to the power system and society at large, if regulations and incentives are not designed appropriately.
The project has started by mapping actors and potential energy communities, and this work will be presented and elaborated in an open workshop in the Spring of 2021.
Other main activities are:
- Create scenarios for the development of regulations and financial incentives for energy communities
- Develop models of energy communities and distribution networks.
- Analyse the interaction between local energy communities and the distribution network in operation and planning, by including the energy community as a flexibility provider
- Analyse the consequences of different regulations and incentive structures and provide overall recommendations
The project finances two PhD candidates, one at UPC Barcelona has started and we aim at starting the other PhD at NTNU early 2021.