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WHY - Climbing the causality ladder to understand and project the energy demand of the residential sector
Energy Communities Special
Winter 2022
The potential of energy communities in a free European electricity market

In this online workshop organized by the WHY project at the Climate Alliance Annual Conference (CAIC), various concepts were discussed on how to build an energy community. The cities of Copenhagen, Prague and the Barcelona region shared their experiences in this regard. There was also a preview of the WHY toolkit, which is currently being developed to help with the decision to implement an energy community.

    "Both citizens and utilities believe that the municipality should be the facilitator rather than an actor in its own right in this process."- Øystein Leaonardsen

How can municipalities participate in energy communities? What are the bottlenecks and solutions? What tools and methods support forecasting energy demand to ensure energy system stability in a municipality? These were the core questions we seeked to explore in this workshop with experts from municipalities, energy communities and cooperatives and researchers including energy system modellers.


Click for Presentation Videos and PDFs to download here

Accelerating energy transition in European municipalities with citizen participation

Parallel to the WHY Workshop, the Region-N project focused on best practices to win citizens and other stakeholders for the regional expansion of renewables, including energy communities and energy cooperatives:

  • Citizens' wind farm Riepen / Beckendorf from the district of Schaumburg
  • Citizens' solar energy community Göttweigblick from Austria
  • Energy cooperative ERE43 from France, which produces heat with a biomass plant.

The speakers also gave an overview of the status of the implementation of the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) in their countries. Finally, the do's and don'ts of citizen and stakeholder participation were discussed.

 “The energy system of the future should put the prosumers in the centre of the energy system, together with consumers and producers”, Eva Dvorak, Programme Manager - Austrian Coordination Unit for Energy Communities, Climate and Energy Fund (Austria)

Click for the Workshop Contributions

About the WHY Energy Community Use Case

While no two community-based energy projects are alike, they can still share common elements, such as technologies, funding sources, and business models. The main objective of this Use Case is to show how new energy community-based business models can make the energy communities ‘better’ and lead to climate neutral cities by 2030.

In WHY we plan to show how the WHY toolkit could be used to plan the setup of an energy community from the technical, economic, environmental, and social perspective providing tools to answer the following questions:

  • Who should be involved and how to involve them?
  • How to size the different components (generation, storage, control strategy, etc.)?
  • What legal entity is the most effective / robust?
  • What is the best business model / tariff system to be deployed?
  • How to manage new contracts and cancellations after the set up?
Learn about the WHY Toolkit

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WHY The project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 891943.