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Prosperous Energy Communities: Prerequisites, Technical Solutions, and Perspectives

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "A1: Smart Grids and Microgrids".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 6676

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Center for Energy, Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, Vienna, Austria
Interests: smart grids; distribution grids; demand response; energy communities; volt/var control; photovoltaic integration; distributed generation
Institute for Energy Systems and Electrical, Drives Technische Universität Wien, Gußhausstraße 25/370-1A, 1040 Wien, Austria
Interests: holistic approaches; integration of distributed energy resources; smart grids and their impact on transmission and distribution grids; real time applications
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Climatic conditions worldwide foster the integration of renewable and distributed energy resources into the power system and raise civic awareness for efficient and local energy usage. Power systems undergo radical structural changes: the increasing use of ICT and automation at the distribution and customer plant levels allows for more customer-centric business models, and recent EU directives have paved the way for citizens to participate in energy-related processes collectively. Energy communities arise that aim to generate environmental and social benefits by applying new business models. To enable their large-scale implementation, these energy communities must be designed to work in harmony with the grid and incentivize the cooperation and participation of the relevant stakeholders.

This Special Issue aims to promote the design of energy communities concerning technical, market-related, regulatory, legal, and organizational aspects. Its scope includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Technical solutions (e.g., for monitoring and control) for energy communities;
  • Regulatory aspects of energy communities;
  • Legal aspects of energy communities;
  • Markets for energy communities;
  • Business cases for energy communities;
  • Use cases (e.g., ancillary service provision) for energy communities;
  • The organizational structure of energy communities.

Original research and review papers are cordially invited for submission.

Dr. Daniel-Leon Schultis
Prof. Dr. Albana Ilo
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • energy community
  • distribution grid
  • distributed energy resources
  • control
  • monitoring
  • local market
  • regulation
  • legal framework
  • ancillary services
  • organizational structure
  • use case
  • business case

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

21 pages, 2085 KiB  
Article
Renewable Energy Communities as Modes of Collective Prosumership: A Multi-Disciplinary Assessment Part II—Case Study
by Shubhra Chaudhry, Arne Surmann, Matthias Kühnbach and Frank Pierie
Energies 2022, 15(23), 8936; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15238936 - 25 Nov 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 1840
Abstract
Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) have been defined as modes of collective prosumership under the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II). We evaluate the benefits offered by RECs and the barriers and enablers impacting their uptake. Germany is taken as a case study for a [...] Read more.
Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) have been defined as modes of collective prosumership under the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II). We evaluate the benefits offered by RECs and the barriers and enablers impacting their uptake. Germany is taken as a case study for a novel multi-disciplinary assessment of a potential REC intended as a climate-neutral, mixed-use district. We found that energy cooperatives may not be suited to form RECs, but the future may see an uptake of innovative organizational structures such as the Consumer Stock Ownership Plan. It has been shown that a high degree of prosumership can provide technical and economic benefits with maximum greenhouse gas savings of 35% and a maximum self-consumption share of 61% compared to no prosumership. The REC has a negative Net Present Value (NPV) after 25 years of operation and lacks financial attractiveness. A positive NPV is only possible by using the cost savings from prosumership to recoup the investments faster. RECs are a promising mode of citizen participation in the energy transition; however, for their application in Germany, together with the currently missing regulatory allowance of sharing energy between small-scale parties over a public grid, dedicated subsidies, one-time grants or price support for operators are needed. Full article
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16 pages, 560 KiB  
Article
Renewable Energy Communities as Modes of Collective Prosumership: A Multi-Disciplinary Assessment, Part I—Methodology
by Shubhra Chaudhry, Arne Surmann, Matthias Kühnbach and Frank Pierie
Energies 2022, 15(23), 8902; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15238902 - 25 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2178
Abstract
Citizens are set to play an active role in the energy transition by transforming from ‘passive’ consumers to ‘active’ prosumers. Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) are envisioned as modes of collective prosumership by citizens under the Renewable Energy Directive of 2018 (RED II). A [...] Read more.
Citizens are set to play an active role in the energy transition by transforming from ‘passive’ consumers to ‘active’ prosumers. Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) are envisioned as modes of collective prosumership by citizens under the Renewable Energy Directive of 2018 (RED II). A holistic understanding of RECs is essential to identify the benefits and challenges of collective prosumership. RECs have been the topic of several modelling studies, but a single model that simulates RECs from an integrated perspective—combining technical, economic and ecological analysis—is absent. Wide variability in the indicators discourages comparison of the results across studies. This article builds on the existing knowledge by proposing an integrated model to undertake a multi-disciplinary assessment of a potential REC. First, the proposed model analyses the technical possibilities of collective prosumership using energy flow analysis based on consumption and generation profiles. Second, the model evaluates the economic impacts of prosumership from two perspectives: from the consumers’ perspective (in terms of the annual cost of energy consumption) and from an investor’s perspective (in terms of the net present value of the investment). Thirdly, the model quantifies the annual greenhouse gas emissions of energy consumption (expressed in CO2 equivalent) to evaluate the ecological impact of prosumership. Lastly, a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) are proposed that can be used to interpret and compare the results of simulations and are mapped to the actors in the REC in line with their objectives. The proposed approach offers a single, replicable model that can be used to simulate RECs in the different Member States of the European Union. The KPIs can be used to compare the impact of combinations of various prosumership activities within the same REC or to compare two different RECs on the benefits offered vis-a-vis the investments incurred. The KPIs also offer insights into the aligning and conflicting objectives of the stakeholders of the REC. Full article
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30 pages, 14487 KiB  
Article
Effective Volt/var Control for Low Voltage Grids with Bulk Loads
by Daniel-Leon Schultis
Energies 2022, 15(5), 1950; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15051950 - 07 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1868
Abstract
This paper investigates the voltage and reactive power control problem in low voltage grids with connected prosumers and bulk loads. The X(U) local control, which maintains the voltage at the feeders’ ends within a predefined band, and its combination with [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the voltage and reactive power control problem in low voltage grids with connected prosumers and bulk loads. The X(U) local control, which maintains the voltage at the feeders’ ends within a predefined band, and its combination with Q-Autarkic customer plants are the most effective and reliable strategies in grids with high prosumer share. However, these strategies may need adaptations to guarantee voltage limit compliance when bulk loads, such as electric vehicle parking garages and community-owned photovoltaic systems, are connected to the low voltage feeders. This paper extends the X(U) local control concept to involve bulk loads in Volt/var control and investigates the resulting load flows in different real low voltage grids. The results show that the extended control arrangement reliably removes all voltage limit violations by deteriorating the effectiveness of the original X(U) local control arrangement: reactive power flows and equipment loading within the low voltage grids are increased. Full article
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