User-oriented development of technologies and services for energy communities

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Development of services for users of energy communities

In the past two decades, measures have been taken in all European countries to increase the supply of energy from renewable energy sources. Since the 2000s, the Internal Market Directive and the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) have provided legal foundations at European level that determine essential aspects of the energy policy of the member states of the European Union. One aspect that was addressed when the guidelines were updated in 2018 and 2019, respectively, is the further expansion of renewable energy generation while maintaining the quality of supply in energy networks. In order to achieve the set expansion targets, among other things, a massive expansion of generation capacities from photovoltaic systems is necessary. This expansion is mainly taking place in a decentralized manner in low network levels. In order to be able to continue to guarantee the second aspect – the maintenance of the supply quality – it is necessary to use the electricity generated in photovoltaic systems on site if possible, i.e. in the lower grid levels. This makes it possible to achieve a higher proportion of renewable energy in the overall electricity mix with existing network capacities. For this reason, the formation of energy communities should be made possible in the future. Participants in these communities can trade energy with one another locally and thus contribute to load balancing in the lower network levels. Services in the context of energy communities must be accepted by users and be easy to use. In this project, the application of service engineering in all development processes is intended to generate solutions that can be expected to have a high level of user acceptance.

Development of tools for the technical design of energy communities

Another challenge is the integration of relevant technologies in an energy community. Since there is no standardized data interface, a data and information platform is being designed in the course of the project, which enables control and regulation tasks for technical units, but also the handling of business processes . Energy communities are a new type of organization, as they are not allowed to work for profit themselves, but should give their members the opportunity to benefit, for example, from reduced local network tariffs by participating. In the proposed project, therefore, concepts and principles for the internal organization of energy communities are to be developed. Last but not least, energy communities must actually have a noticeable effect on the generation and use of renewable energy and thus also achieve savings in climate-relevant emissions. This can only be achieved through optimal planning and management of the energy community. Data-based optimization computers are therefore being (further) developed in the project, which provide a technical configuration for the energy community and regulate operation, for example, by controlling loads or using energy storage devices.

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