Demonstration of a jointly designed renewable energy community to increase security of supply
Protection of critical infrastructures
Austria’s cities are faced with a wide range of social, ecological and economic challenges: the effects of climate change, demographic change, growing social inequalities and the management of structural change or – especially at the moment – pandemics can endanger the infrastructural supply of cities in the long term. In order to equip critical infrastructure with regard to the energy supply in the event of a crisis, expensive emergency power systems are currently often purchased, which often offer little or no additional benefit beyond the actual supply in times of crisis. With the introduction of the Renewable Expansion Law, there will in future be the possibility of forming local energy communities. The question still arises as to how energy communities should be designed and implemented in order to achieve the broadest possible impact and acceptance and, moreover, to develop awareness-raising effects among the participants.
Master plan to ensure a sustainable energy supply for the community of Neudörfl
The underlying problem gives rise to a number of questions in the specific setting of Neudörfl. Neudörfl has a district heating network that is supplied with waste heat by an industrial company (Fundermax GmbH, partner in the project). In the industrial enterprise, green electricity is also generated by means of a CHP system (combined heat and power). At the location of the industrial company there are also large potential photovoltaic areas on the corresponding hall roofs. The municipality has also set itself the goal of using the photovoltaic potential in public buildings and supporting citizens in using their potential.
On the basis of this initial situation, the basic task in the project is to ensure the energy supply of the municipality or of critical infrastructure in the event of a crisis through cooperation and bundling of all available resources and prioritization of the critical infrastructure while at the same time having a positive effect on the climate, the environment and regional added value in regular operation. This is to take place through the formation of an energy community and a coordinated energy flow optimization using the forms of energy heating and cooling, as well as storage and flexibility options. By involving the interest groups, especially the end customers, a basis for broad acceptance and participation is to be created. Incentives for the increased use or investment in renewable energies in the region are to be created in order to be part of a community for resilience and renewable energies.
Extension of the project by two functionalities
The conventional intention of the energy community is to be expanded in the project by two functionalities: