Matching Demand and Supply – The Potential of Microgrids & Energy Communities
From 28-30 April over 40 RegEnergy partners and interested parties met online - instead of in Yverdon-les-Bains (Switzerland) as planned - to discuss the management of microgrids, the role of local energy communities as well as the RED II and many more.
Planair’s study on the role of (mobile) storage in integrating high PV shares in a microgrid to balance supply and demand was a key focus of the three-day conference. It has shown, amongst other things that even the highest possible PV potential on an industrial zone does not represent a problem to the grid, and the introduction of mobile or stationary batteries reduces the risk even more.
The different aspects of the planned microgrid were then examined in more detail. A software tool, which manages the energy provided, needed and used in real-time was presented and a presentation about the role of electrical vehicles in microgrid architectures showcased fast charging is difficult to implement during power changes, while slow charging offers more flexibility for the grid.
Self-consumption was also discussed intensively. The possibility to facilitate it with the prediction and optimization of systems was presented as well as how to make this a central pillar of local energy communities. The session was supplemented by insights into the Swiss model of self-consumption consortiums (SCC). SCCs allow connecting several separate customers (often tenants) under one or more power plants of RE production. These have been introduced as there is almost no ground for PV in Switzerland and their potential is mainly situated on roofs of apartment blocks.
An open session about RED II and energy communities rounded up the meeting. Leen Peters from Think-E, a Belgian SME operating on a European scale, explained intriguingly what can be done to integrate as many actors as possible in an energy system and how to strengthen the place of the consumer. In addition to insights into the two directives for Citizen Energy Communities (CEC) and Renewable Energy Communities REC), Leen Peters discussed important success factors to set-up a Local Energy Community, like to consider the value of CEC and REC to the community, support the set-up of CEC or REC and put in place participation mechanisms for energy poor and vulnerable households.