Project budget6 803 301 €
ERDF amount4 081 980 €
The role in the energy system of citizens, businesses and all types of energy consumerswill change in short future. Today all EU-member states prepare implementation by 2020 of "Local Energy Communities" (LEC): “an association, a cooperative, a
partnership, a non-profit organization or other legal entity which is effectively controlled by local shareholders or members, generally value rather than profit-driven, involved in distributed generation and in performing activities of a distribution system operator, supplier or aggregator at local level, including across borders."
LECs make energy sharing of mid-scale sustainable energy feasible, today it is very difficult.
New challenges arise: LECs offer the legal and organisational framework fo complex energy arrangements, but the initiation of these new arangements is not secured: businesses, citizens and organisations need to embrace the concept of
LEC, new organisation models, technical innovations and market services.
A succesfull take-off of Energy Communities (EC's) in the 2-Seas region. The new LEC-option in legislation gets adopted by the stakeholders, the market and energy consumers to create energy synergies and cooperation models. This will lead to unlocking extra potential of mid-scale sustainable energy (large solar PV, CHP, district heating, microgrids, storage, wind...) shared in the EC's. The acceptance and adoption of sustainable energy technologies increases with businesses, citizens and/or organisations. Carbon redudtion via more sustainable energy production.
- Knowledge building with 640 potential EC-stakeholders and decision makers reached with the knowledge platform
- 8 lighthouse demonstration projects throughout the 2-Seas region with a different scope.
- €30 MLN investments triggered via the lighthouse demonstrators
- 15.000 MWh renewable energy production per year by the 8 lighthouse projects
- 3.750 tCO2 savings per year by the 8 lighthouse projects
- Service Center on Energy Communities in the 2-Seas region. A library of tested and tailor made tools, services and methodologies to enable EC facilitators and different target groups (businesses, social housing, citizens, clusters of public and/or private organisations).
- Knowlegde Platform on EC's in the 2 Seas region that enables participation and knowledge sharing amongst ECstakeholders and potential end users. The platforms are organised on regional/national level, as well as on cross-border level.
- 8 Energy Communities lighthouse demonstrators, making use of the new legal options of creating ECs.
- 2 Infrastructures for EC's: electricity sharing. Investments in the technical innovations/solutions needed to realise a smart-grid alike energy sharing infrastructure.
- 2 Infrastructures for EC's: heat/cold sharing. Investments in the technical innovations/solutions needed to realise 4th generation district heating & cooling schemes.
Cross border approach
The new legislation on LECs causes a search for similar solutions with many stakeholders in the 4 2-seas countries. What is possible? What works, what not? Should new products or services be developed? Who should be incentivised, and how?
LECSea offers a platform for partners and non-partners to get inspired by solutions developed and under development across the 2-Seas region. Today, not in all 4-sea countries the debate in the energy sector on ECs is as intense.
Crossborder cooperation will increase the options per country to operationalize ECs :
- The creation of a shared service center and knowledge platform in which the EC-stakeholders of the 4 2-Seas countries can find tools, services & methods to catalyse their projects and exchange knowledge.
- Establishment of EC lighthouses throughout the 2-Seas region with complemantry focusses (business park, social housing, housing, mixed, electricity vs heat...). Exchange of available knowledge on solutions between partners.
The project started up more or less at the same time of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. Nothwitstanding this context, partners were eager to create a drive and dynamic both in the pilot cases and on a transnational level. However, the changing context made the start-up more challenging.
In 2020, the project management (WP5) was set up (initiation stage), regular digital meetings were organised, and the cooperation spirit is achieved. The communication (WP6) also was started up, with a major focus on setting up the website with the required specs to be able to serve the service centre and the knowlegde platform.
The preparation of the service centre (WP1) took off, lead by PP7. PP7 collected a lot of knowhow on EC's in the 2-Seas region. This was done in good coordination with the knowlegde platform (WP3). The vision of the WP3-lead is to anticipate and start the activities earlier than foreseen to increase the impact. A most visible result were the webinars organised in F, UK, B and NL at the end of 2020, with much more attendants than expected (240). This underlines the need for knowlegde building around EC's - and the high expectations by target groups. Furthermore, the implementation of the EU directives on REC and CEC was closely monitored, and first lobby activities were organised.
The 8 pilot projects (WP2, WP4) took off. For most pilots, a lot of efforts were needed to secure feasiblity of the investment due to the changing context. An extra investment case in the UK was arranged to meet the requirements of the notification letter. E.g.
- LP1 concluded that the planned pilot & investment case (business park Evolis) faces too much uncertainties, and focused on finding a more feasible case. 2 alternatives are defined to secure the investment and establishment of an EC.
- PP3's pilot will be focussed on the extension of the heat network outside the sugar factory site, to allow to set up an EC.
- PP4 solved state aid issues by modifying its process.
- PP5 engaged for an investment in the pilot, the essential UK-investment.
- PP8 is expecting first investments in Feb 2021
- PP9 Commisioned a contract to deliver a bespoke support programme to establish community energy groups within Essex.
- PP10 started up only in October due to the Pandemic. Key stakeholder are identified, a Data Trust concept for the Isle of Wight is started to be developed, lobbying for Citizen Energy Community, identifying energy projects.