The recently approved regulation on Energy Communities in Europe is paving the way for new collective forms of energy consumption and production, mainly based on photovoltaics. However, energy modeling approaches that can adequately evaluate the impact of these new regulations on energy community configurations are still lacking, particularly with regards to the grid tariffs imposed on collective systems. Thus, the present work models three different energy community configurations sustained on collective photovoltaics self-consumption for a small city in southern Portugal. This energy community, which integrates the city consumers and a local winery, was modeled using the Python-based Calliope framework. Using real electricity demand data from power transformers and an actual winery, the techno-economic feasibility of each configuration was assessed. Results show that all collective arrangements can promote a higher penetration of photovoltaic capacity (up to 23%) and a modest reduction in the overall cost of electricity (up to 8%). However, there are clear trade-offs between the different pathways: more centralized configurations have 53% lower installation costs but are more sensitive to grid use costs (which can represent up to 74% of the total system costs). Moreover, key actor’s individual self-consumption rate may decrease by 10% in order to benefit the energy community as a whole.
Publication date: January 2021
Guilherme Pontes Luz and Rodrigo Amaro e Silva