Local Energy Communities for the 2 Seas region | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën

LECSEA

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Local Energy Communities for the 2 Seas region

Priority Axis

Low Carbon Technologies

Specific objective

Low Carbon Technologies

Lead partner

Intermunicipal Association Leiedal

Start Date

01/02/2020

End Date

30/06/2023

Project budget

6 803 301

ERDF amount

4 081 980

ERDF rate

60%

    About

    Common challenge

    The role in the energy system of citizens, businesses, and all types of energy consumers is destined to change in the near future.  At the time of the project approval, all EU Member States were preparing for the implementation in 2020 of a new vision outlined in the winter package 2016, where the concept of “Local Energy Communities” (LEC) was introduced. In MEMO/16/3961, the European Commission stated: “all consumers across the EU will be entitled to generate electricity for either their own consumption, store it, share it, consume it or to sell it back to the market. These changes should make it easier for households and businesses to become more involved in the energy system, to better control their energy consumption and respond to price signals.”

    The updated European Renewables Energy Directive (ERED-14-06-2018) reinforced its importance. New challenges were arising to secure the potential positive impact of energy communities (ECs) to reduce carbon emissions. ECs offer the legal and organisation framework to create more complex energy arrangements, e.g. between businesses, citizens, organisations, or hybrid mixes. The initiation and growth of these new types of arrangements was not secured by the legislation. 
    These challenges were addressed by LECSEA in the 2 Seas area.

    Main Achievements

    LECSEA stands as an award-winning project, distinguished for its innovation and ambition. Despite the inherent risks and challenges, it paved the way for new possibilities that continue to inspire many others.

    Awards made clear that LECSEAs breakthroughs were recognised. West Sussex County Council was one of the winners of the ADE’s Decentralised Energy Awards 2023 (https://www.theade.co.uk/news/ade-news/winners-of-ades-decentralised-ene...) and Leiedal received for Campus Wevelgem the "Wivina Demeester prijs" (https://vlaamsbouwmeester.be/nl/nieuws/laureaten-prijs-wivina-demeester-...).

    The LECSEA project operated in a variety of difficult contexts, such as: COVID, supply chain crisis, energy crisis, inflation, and the fact that the implementation of the Energy Directives on Energy Communities did not have the impact on the field as many expected at the start of the project. LECSEA held a broad understanding of energy communities and energy sharing, how it worked and did not work.

    LECSEA partners were persistent, flexible, and inventive. Lighthouse demonstrators and investments needed to be reoriented, strategies redefined, business cases and technical concepts adjusted and updated. With their great perseverance, the LECSEA partners never gave up and managed to deliver more than was originally planned. In this context, they organised more events, webinars, conferences, presentations. As a result, more target groups were reached. The lighthouse demonstrators & investments triggered more investments (€), more renewable energy production (MWh/y) and more carbon reduction (tCO2) than originally planned. 

    Beyond the figures, LECSEA succeeded very interesting innovations that shine far beyond the project.
    On site, Voerman Anzegem (BE), a shared fifth generation district heating scheme that was implemented. At Manor Royal (UK), business joined a completely new type of structure. In France, social tenants had access to shared solar PV on their roof: the first in France! A shared Borehole Energy Storage system was realised in Campus Wevelgem. Finally, a neighbourhood in Veurne was heated with waste heat, from a crisp bakery, supported by a complex arrangement of stakeholders.

    Testimonial

    We see this pilot really as a way of gaining experience with larger heat networks, and as such actively promote this concept with project developers.

    Brecht Vermeulen, president De Watergroep

    Partnership

    Partners

    The West Flanders Development Agency (POM West Flanders)

    West Flanders Intermunicipal Association

    Municipality of Breda

    West Sussex County Council

    Ghent University

    Center for development of eco-enterprises

    Pas-de-Calais housing

    Essex County Council