Key Aspects and Challenges in the Implementation of Energy Communities

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Key Aspects and Challenges in the Implementation of Energy Communities

Authors: Georgios Yiasoumas, Lazar Berbakov, Valentina Janev, Alessandro Asmundo, Eneko Olabarrieta, Andrea Vinci, Giovanni Baglietto and George E. Georghiou

Abstract: Energy communities (ECs) are an important tool towards a fair energy transition. Hence, the European Union (EU) has positioned ECs at the centre of its energy strategy and the foreseen transformation of its energy system. This paper aims to give an overview of key aspects and challenges for the implementation of the EC concept. Firstly, the regulatory framework is examined with a focus on the new definitions for ECs introduced by the EU, Renewable Energy Communities (RECs) and Citizen Energy Communities (CECs). Secondly, examples of established ECs and their main objectives are mentioned. Additionally, based on the identified challenges and requirements of establishing ECs, the key technologies that are implemented or have the potential to be deployed in an EC are examined, as well as innovative cross-cutting services that are optimally suited to be integrated in an EC. Moreover, the data management challenges linked to some of these technologies are considered. Finally, an overview of actual or potential financing schemes to support the EC development is given. Overall, the analysis highlighted the regulatory, technical and financial aspects and challenges that ECs are facing and the need to address them so that the EC concept is effective and successful. The main challenges identified for each of these aspects are the regulatory compliance with the legal framework, the data management dimension when innovative technological concepts are adopted and the financing of new projects.

Keywords: energy communities; regulatory barriers; smart grids; technologies; data-driven services;

data management; financial barriers