ENABLING ENERGY COMMUNITIES AND LOCAL ENERGY SERVICE PROVIDERS ACROSS EUROPE
Community Energy Systems (CES) are generating a lot of interest, however smart energy community models are still experimental, with a piloting purpose and funded mostly by subsidies.
European Community policy foresees Europe’s energy system to become decentral, decarbonized and community led, where up to 45% of the energy consumed is to be generated and managed locally, at low to mid voltage levels.
To date, energy communities just serve 0,1% of retail markets, across hundreds of very small-scale projects. Among these energy communities, just a few dozen could be considered as “smart”, with automation in the energy system, multiple user types, mix of energy generation assets and real pricing transactions between users ( “peer-to-peer”) and the electric grid. These projects are usually inventor-driven and often operate in niche environments such as university facilities, remote island sites, or stand-alone experiments.
In order to move a step forward in the development of CES, it is required to move towards a more dynamic and accessible model for integrators and local energy providers and thus, overcome the barriers of scalability, replicability, reliability and viability.
CREATORS aims to accelerate the integration of energy communities across Europe by supporting local actors throughout the entire life cycle of a CES and bring “CES-as-a-service” models to a commercial readiness level. For this purpose, CREATORS will develop and prepare a set of applications and service packages that will help in the initiation, planning, implementation and operation of Community Energy Systems. Additionally, to ensure a high market uptake of the CREATORS’ services, viable business models will be designed and built upon verifiable data on technical and financial performance.
The applications and service packages provided will be developed and demonstrated in four pilot sites located in Belgium, Estonia, Slovenia and Spain and later tested in six following sites under different market conditions. The CREATORS’ services will enable the integration of existing energy vectors and sectors in a secure community-led system and increase the consumers and prosumers activation and participation.
CREATORS is a Horizon 2020 EU funded project carried out by 17 partners from across Europe that aims to accelerate the integration of Community Energy Systems by supporting local initiators throughout the entire life cycle of a project and bring CES-as-a-service model to the market.
The project, coordinated by CORDEEL NV, started in September 2020 and will last 38 months. The CREATORS consortium is uniquely positioned to deliver the CES software suite and bring it to market. The consortium includes energy, engineering, construction, software and modelling centered firms as well as site owners, managers and public promoters of CES.
- Accelerate the integration of CES across Europe
- Enhance commercial readiness of CES
- Unlock over 60% of local renewable energy generation
- Increase flexibility and local grid balancing
- Activate and empower consumers and prosumers
The consortium comprises 17 entities from 8 European countries: 8 SMEs, 5 Corporations, 1 NGO, 1 Institute of research and 2 Public Organizations. The consortium combines skills and expertise, bringing to the project a wide range of experts working with transdisciplinary approaches to environmental and industrial processes challenges.