Photovoltaics Enabling Sustainable Energy Communities: Technological Drivers and Emerging Markets
Contributions and Organization
- We perform a focused literature review on the market models, trading mechanisms and applications of local energy systems and energy communities, while clarifying the nuances of important terms, and propose respective definitions;
- We design a practical tool for studying the enhancement in the feasibility of small-scale PV investments by energy communities through the approximation of the annual energy cost reductions, simulating an actual local energy marketplace for the community members;
- The implemented tool departs from state-of-the-art formulations for the operation of a local energy markets, which we significantly enhance in order to accommodate the requirements of our case study—e.g., accounting for load flexibility and prioritizing self sufficiency;
- We present a highly realistic case study, using historical electricity production and consumption data, with the aim of estimating the economic benefits of an energy community that is currently under formation in a Greek municipality;
- We identify crucial factors through economic indices that impact the benefits occurring from the operation of the local energy market.
2. Literature Review
2.1.1. Transactive Energy
2.1.2. Peer-to-Peer Energy Trading
We define “P2P energy networks” as bottom-up, prosumer-based energy networks which are decentralized, autonomous and flexible , where all peers are at the same hierarchical level in the market value chain, and no entity has market power over the others. The information flows are decentralized as proposed in  and the decisions are formulated by the peers though a horizontal governance scheme.
2.1.3. Energy Community
We regard a Citizen Energy Community (CEC), or alternatively an energy community, as a type of an organization of citizens for collective or cooperative actions in the energy system, where, as a cooperative, the operation is characterized by the seven cooperative principles as defined by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) :
- Voluntary and open membership;
- Democratic member control;
- Member economic participation;
- Autonomy and independence;
- Education, training and information;
- Cooperation among cooperatives;
- Concern for community.
Inspired by , we understand the prosumer as an entity that is motivated by economical, ideological, environmental and other factors. It refers to residential and commercial customers for which prosumerism is not their primary economic activity.
2.1.5. Local Energy Market
We identify LEMs, as a vehicle for the realization of a decentralized TES, to be fundamental players including a large number of small residential and commercial prosumers and consumers of a specific geographical area connected at the same distribution network subregion. These actors participate either as self-interested players, aiming to maximize their economic benefits, or as coalitions who aim to fulfill their collective goals (economic, energy or environmental related) and satisfy common needs.
2.2. Trading Methods and Pricing Schemes
2.3. Game Theoretic Models
2.4. The Legal Framework for Energy Communities in Greece
3. Community Modeling Tool
- represents the net energy production of each prosumer for a single time step;
- expresses the energy that is exchanged between prosumer j and the community at the time step t; and
- , the total energy that the prosumer j imports from and exports to their retailer, respectively.
4. Case Study
4.1. Data Gathering
4.2. Simulation Results
5.1. Investment Feasibility Improvement
5.2. Role of Energy Community
Conflicts of Interest
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|Member Category||Average Annual Consumption (kWh)||Members||Total Annual Consumption (kWh)||Members with PVs||Total Installed PVs (kW)|
|Scenario||Flexibility Percentage (%)||Town Hall Flexibility (%)||Town Hall PV (kW)||Households with Flexibility|
|Scenario||Town Hall PV (kW)||Flexibility||Members with PVs (%)||Members without PV (%)||Town Hall (%)|
|% of Total Load||Flexible Members|
|Scenario||Town Hall PV (kW)||Flexibility||Members with PVs (%)||Members without PV (%)||Town Hall (%)|
|% of Total Load||Flexible Members|
|Scenario||Town Hall PV (kW)||Flexibility||Members with PVs (%)||Town Hall (%)|
|% of Total Load||Flexible Members|
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Chronis, A.-G.; Palaiogiannis, F.; Kouveliotis-Lysikatos, I.; Kotsampopoulos, P.; Hatziargyriou, N. Photovoltaics Enabling Sustainable Energy Communities: Technological Drivers and Emerging Markets. Energies 2021, 14, 1862. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14071862
Chronis A-G, Palaiogiannis F, Kouveliotis-Lysikatos I, Kotsampopoulos P, Hatziargyriou N. Photovoltaics Enabling Sustainable Energy Communities: Technological Drivers and Emerging Markets. Energies. 2021; 14(7):1862. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14071862Chicago/Turabian Style
Chronis, Alexandros-Georgios, Foivos Palaiogiannis, Iasonas Kouveliotis-Lysikatos, Panos Kotsampopoulos, and Nikos Hatziargyriou. 2021. "Photovoltaics Enabling Sustainable Energy Communities: Technological Drivers and Emerging Markets" Energies 14, no. 7: 1862. https://doi.org/10.3390/en14071862