Energy Communities

Energy Communities

Customer-Centered, Market-Driven, Welfare-Enhancing?

1st Edition - July 1, 2022

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  • Editors: Sabine Loebbe, Fereidoon Sioshansi, David Robinson
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780323911351
  • eBook ISBN: 9780323911399

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Energy Communities explores core potential systemic benefits and costs in engaging consumers into communities, particularly relating to energy transition. The book evaluates the conditions under which energy communities might be regarded as customer-centered, market-driven and welfare-enhancing. The book also reviews the issue of prevalence and sustainability of energy communities and whether these features are likely to change as opportunities for distributed energy grow. Sections cover the identification of welfare considerations for citizens and for society on a local and national level, and from social, economic and ecological perspectives, while also considering different community designs and evolving business models.

Key Features

  • Defines and conceptualizes the energy community for the current generation of researchers and practitioners facing the energy transition
  • Explores the main benefits and challenges in forming energy communities and to what extent they are welfare-enhancing
  • Examines under what terms, conditions, regulations or policies energy communities can be beneficially and successfully organized and why
  • Reviews the combination of business models and forms of organization which are conducive to economic feasibility and the commercial success of energy communities


Early career researchers, policymakers and regulators investigating topics around energy communities, energy economics, consumer and prosumer behavior, and the energy transition. Consultants, developers, operators, vendors and supporting organizations that could provide services to energy communities. Aggregator network and retail companies, and other sharing economy actors

Table of Contents

  • Cover image
  • Title page
  • Table of Contents
  • Copyright
  • Author biographies
  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Part 1: The concept of energy communities and their regulatory framework
  • Part 2: The appeal of energy communities to customers and citizens
  • Part 3: Enabling technologies, community design, and business models
  • Part 4: Case studies and implementation
  • Part One. The concept of energy communities and their regulatory framework
  • 1. A taxonomy of energy communities in liberalized energy systems
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. A heterogeneous set of collective actors
  • 3. A taxonomy to inform policy and regulatory debates
  • 4. Well-established energy communities
  • 5. New kids on the block
  • 6. Conclusions
  • 2. The EU policy framework for energy communities
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. RECs versus CECs
  • 3. Other relevant policy developments
  • 4. Energy communities in European Member States
  • 5. Conclusions
  • 3. Energy communities: a U.S. regulatory perspective
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. The regulator, the legislator, and the North American regulatory policy framework
  • 3. Evaluating EC entry in already served markets
  • 4. Can ECs be “market driven” and “welfare enhancing”?
  • 5. Conclusions
  • 4. Developing a legal framework for energy communities beyond energy law
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. EU law on the purpose of energy communities
  • 3. The energy community “Schoonschip” in Amsterdam
  • 4. In search of novel legislation for energy communities
  • 5. The way forward: transposing EU law on energy communities in the Netherlands
  • 6. Conclusion
  • 5. Alignment of energy community incentives with electricity system benefits in Spain
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Analytical framework
  • 3. Current legislation
  • 4. Factors potentially favoring alignment
  • 5. Factors that potentially do not favor alignment
  • 6. Assessment and recommendations
  • 6. The “virtual” model for collective self-consumption in Italy
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Legislative and regulatory framework
  • 3. The Italian pilot regulation for collective self-consumption
  • 4. Conclusions
  • Annex A
  • 7. Energy communities: a North American perspective
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. What is an energy community?
  • 3. Energy communities in North America
  • 4. The North American policy landscape
  • 5. Conclusions
  • 8. Energy communities: challenges for regulators and policymakers
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Preliminaries
  • 3. Regulatory challenges arising from energy communities
  • 4. Conclusions
  • Appendix
  • Part Two. The appeal of energy communities to customers and citizens
  • 9. What motivates private households to participate in energy communities? A literature review and German case study
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Preferences for energy communities identified in the scientific literature
  • 3. Preferences for energy communities identified in a German case study
  • 4. Motivations to participate in energy communities
  • 5. Conclusions
  • 10. Community energy initiatives as a space for emerging imaginaries? Experiences from Switzerland
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. The Swiss context
  • 3. Applying the concept of sociotechnical imaginary to Swiss community energy initiatives
  • 4. Evidence of emerging sociotechnical imaginaries
  • 5. Reflecting on community energy from a sociotechnical imaginaries perspective
  • 6. Conclusions
  • 11. The construction of a citizen-centered ecosystem for renewable energies in France
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Background to Enercoop and Enercoop Languedoc Roussillon
  • 3. The Enercoop Languedoc Roussillon ecosystem: linking and empowering energy communities based on citizens' collectives
  • 4. The main organizing alternative characteristics of the ELR ecosystem
  • 5. Recommendations for building an alternative renewable energy ecosystem
  • 6. Conclusion: the appeal of energy communities to citizens
  • 12. Energy communities' social role in a just energy transition
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Toward democratizing energy—energy communities' social role
  • 3. The energy justice framework
  • 4. Toward energy justice in energy communities
  • 5. Conclusion
  • Part Three. Enabling technologies, community design, and business models
  • 13. The digitalization of peer-to-peer electricity trading in energy communities
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Digital enablers for energy communities
  • 3. Distributed ledger technologies in P2P energy markets
  • 4. Local energy markets for energy communities
  • 5. LEC case study
  • 6. Conclusions
  • 14. Enabling business models and grid stability: case studies from Germany
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Levels of coordination within distributed energy systems: basis for energy communities?
  • 3. The big picture: how different coordination entities interact with each other
  • 4. Pros and cons of a “federated” system architecture
  • 5. Conclusion
  • 15. The path to energy communities via local energy management and digital customer care
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Roles and archetypes in energy communities
  • 3. Implementation of energy communities
  • 4. Case study of energy communities
  • 5. Conclusion
  • 16. Governing energy communities: the role of actors and expertise in business model innovation
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Business models and energy communities
  • 3. “Do it yourself” energy communities
  • 4. “Form an alliance” energy communities
  • 5. “Someone else does it for you” energy communities
  • 6. Conclusions
  • 17. Grid-friendly clean energy communities and induced intracommunity cash flows through peer-to-peer trading
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Methodology
  • 3. Scenarios considered
  • 4. Results
  • 5. Sensitivity analysis
  • 6. Conclusions
  • 18. Italian energy communities from a DSO's perspective
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Power distribution networks and DSOs in Italy
  • 3. Role of DSOs
  • 4. What incentives?
  • 5. The territorial extension of energy communities
  • 6. Conclusions
  • 19. Community energy design models in Brazil: from niches to mainstream
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Energy community initiatives in Brazil
  • 3. Brazil's net metering program
  • 4. The future of energy communities in Brazil and their impact on social welfare
  • 5. Conclusions
  • Part Four. Case studies and implementation
  • 20. Institutional and policy context of energy communities in France and Italy: how to increase the welfare-enhancing capacity of the sector
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. The energy communities' movements in France and Italy
  • 3. The case studies: ECs from France and Italy
  • 4. How to increase the welfare-enhancing capacity of ECs
  • 21. Energy communities in Europe: a review of the Danish and German experiences
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. The analytical framework
  • 3. Energy communities in Denmark
  • 4. Energy communities in Germany
  • 5. Conclusions
  • 22. Platform-based energy communities in Germany and their benefits and challenges
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. The historical development of energy communities in Germany
  • 3. Defining energy service providers
  • 4. The power of digital platforms
  • 5. The opportunities and threats for energy service providers
  • 6. Conclusion
  • 23. A community-based biomethane heat network: case study from Trier
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. How the idea got started
  • 3. Biomethane from biogas units for the CHP units
  • 4. Local heat network in downtown Trier
  • 5. Dynamic scenario simulator for interactive participation of residents
  • 6. Participation process for residents and stakeholders for building up an energy community
  • 7. Conclusions
  • 24. Establishing energy communities in postcommunist states: the case of Bulgaria
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Overview of the electricity sector in Bulgaria
  • 3. A brief history of the cooperative movement in Bulgaria
  • 4. Establishing energy communities in Bulgaria
  • 5. Conclusion
  • 25. Sustainable island energy systems: a case study of Tilos Island, Greece
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. The TILOS project—a brief description
  • 3. Technology solutions in the TILOS project
  • 4. Local citizen engagement
  • 5. Summary of results and extended work beyond the TILOS project
  • 6. Conclusions
  • Epilogue
  • Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 514
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2022
  • Published: July 1, 2022
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780323911351
  • eBook ISBN: 9780323911399

About the Editors

Sabine Loebbe

Sabine Löbbe is a professor for energy economics and business administration in energy markets in the Reutlingen Energy Center for Distributed Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency at Reutlingen University, Germany. She is responsible for Sustainability in the President’s Office at the University. Her consulting company advises utilities on strategy, business and organizational development. Prior to her current position, she was Director for Strategy and Business Development at the municipal utility swb AG Bremen. She also worked at Arthur D. Little Inc. in the Energy Practice and in the regional utility VSE AG. She wrote her doctoral dissertation about marketing strategies for utilities at Saarbrücken University. In her research and teaching, she focuses on the transition of organisations towards climate neutrality, business model development based on customer preferences regarding distributed energy, as well as organisational issues for bridging the energy efficiency gap.

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor for Energy Economics and Business Administration, Reutlingen Energy Center, Reutlingen, Germany

Fereidoon Sioshansi

Fereidoon Sioshansi
Dr. Fereidoon Sioshansi is President of Menlo Energy Economics, a consulting firm based in San Francisco with over 35 years of experience in the electric power sector working in analysis of energy markets, specializing in the policy, regulatory, technical and environmental aspects of the electric power sector in the US and internationally. His research and professional interests are concentrated in demand and price forecasting, electricity market design, competitive pricing & bidding, integrated resource planning, energy conservation and energy efficiency, economics of global climate change, sustainability, energy security, renewable energy technologies, and comparative performance of competitive electricity markets. Dr. Sioshansi advises major utility clients and government policy makers domestically and internationally on electricity market reform, restructuring and privatization of the electric power sector. He has published numerous reports, books, book chapters and papers in peer-reviewed journals on a wide range of subjects. His professional background includes working at Southern California Edison Co. (SCE), Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), NERA, and Global Energy Decisions. He is the editor and publisher of EEnergy Informer, a monthly newsletter with international circulation. He is on the Editorial Advisory Board of The Electricity Journal where he is regularly featured in the “Electricity Currents” section. Dr. Sioshansi also serves on the editorial board of Utilities Policy and is a frequent contributor to Energy Policy. Since 2006, He has edited 12 books on related topics with Elsevier.

Affiliations and Expertise

President, Menlo Energy Economics, San Francisco, CA, USA

David Robinson

David Robinson is a consulting economist and Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies. He is an academic adviser to The Brattle Group of Economic and Financial Consultants and was previously a director of NERA, where he was the co-chair of European Operations and one of the Directors of the Global Energy and Telecom Practices. He also worked at the International Energy Agency (IEA) and wrote his doctoral dissertation at the University of Oxford on the vertical disintegration of the international petroleum industry.

Affiliations and Expertise

Senior Research Fellow, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, Madrid, Spain

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