Energy transition through energy communities

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The research project CLUE has been completed. You can download the following documents here: CLUE Project Fact Sheet / CLUE Project – Proof of Concept Description / FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS

The CLUE research project, within the framework of ERA-Net Smart Energy Systems, deals with implementing Local Energy Communities (LECs) in four European countries (Sweden, Scotland, Germany, and Austria). The aim is to acquire knowledge about optimized design, planning, and operation of such energy communities and develop a toolkit for the planning and operation of LECs. Research and development will be executed on technologies with the focus on flexibilities and sector coupling for LEC energy systems. In the area of services, the development of business models and recommendations for an improved regulatory framework will be designed. Demonstrated in the area of stakeholder engagement through partnerships with developers and service providers and the integration of consumers, prosumers and organisations of LECs in a living lab concept.

Implementation in Styria and Burgenland

The “Styrian Pilot Case” is located in the Municipality of Gasen, Styria, Austria. Its main objective is to demonstrate a year-round self-sufficient local energy community based on different flexibilities such as demand-side management and storage technologies. The Municipality of Gasen was chosen due to the large installed PV capacity (15 PV installations with 350 kWp) and a district heating system in place. The latter is relevant due to using a hydrogen storage system that produces heat as a byproduct of converting the electricity to hydrogen and vice-versa.

In South Burgenland, the focus is on the integration of mobility options. To explore this, a local energy community is being set up in the demonstration region which will allow its members to utilize locally generated energy for EV charging at public charge points. The payment system within the energy community is based on blockchain technology, which allows to mint a regional “energy token” (similar to a cryptocurrency such as Ethereum) based on the local energy production. The innovation laboratory provides expertise in open innovation and co-creation processes and will concentrate on user-friendliness and the end-user experience for the project solutions being demonstrated.

The following model solutions are being developed in the CLUE project:

Toolkit for energy communities