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A Business Model Fast Track on Energy Communities—Key Lessons Learned from H2020 EU Projects

Paper publication

Authors: Sylvia Breukers, Amanda Schibline, Guntram Pressmair,Jake Barnes, Marine Faber Perrio, Esteban Pastor Calatayud, Lucija Rakocevic

Developing business models for energy communities means that community-based values and goals are to be taken seriously. This paper presents how several European Horizon projects attempt to do so, highlighting the key issues and challenges encountered. The various projects also show diverse ways to support energy community BMs, developing and demonstrating both technological as well as governance tools and support. What all projects point out is that energy communities lack (financial, knowledge, relational) resources, and that the current local, regional and national market and policy frameworks are not conducive for energy community BMs.

Representatives of several H2020 projects that include business modelling for energy communities have exchanged experiences, ideas and challenges based on their work thus far. (These included the following H2020 projects: WHY; DRIMPAC; NEWCOMERS; DECIDE; SocialRES; BEcoop; COMPILE). Some of these projects had just started, others are quite well underway. Some clearly take energy communities as a point of departure; others start from a grid perspective. Below, we briefly present each project’s take on energy community business modelling, after which we draw some preliminary conclusions and point toward the lessons learned.