Energy Communities – A New Value Chain through Energy Communities


Roles in an Energy Community

With almost 2 million solar installations, around 10% of the electricity produced in Germany now comes from photovoltaic systems. The production of electricity by solar plants has increased significantly in recent years. The desire for sustainable energy is growing – and so is the demand for new business models in the energy industry. On the one hand, customers want more transparency from their energy suppliers; on the other hand, private individuals also produce electricity and want to share it with others. The trend is thus developing toward a decentralized and digital energy supply. One answer to the question of new market and business models in the digital energy industry is energy communities. The realization of energy communities requires new competencies and roles. In this article, we would like to discuss the changes and what position we as coneva take in this process. In general, three roles can be identified in an Energy Community, these are:

  • Community member
  • Community provider
  • Community platform provider

Different roles within an energy community
coneva takes the role of the latter. We also define ourselves as a community-as-a-service provider by developing our own technology platform that serves both the community provider in a business-to-business (B2B) approach and the community members in a B2B2C (business-to-business-to-customer) approach. With the Community as a Service offering, we at coneva are the provider and enabler of

  • a platform for decentralized energy supply on site
  • a network for prosumers and consumers
  • a marketplace for services

While community members can only be prosumers or consumers with different capacities and various decentralized renewable installations (focus on PV), the diversity among community providers is greater. These can be, for example, traditional utilities, but also real estate companies, municipal administrations, OEMs and new players. This diversity comes mainly from changing market conditions, digitalization, new competition for new business models, and the increasing merging of industries. For the coneva approach, an existing customer relationship between the community provider and the future community member is assumed, e.g. via an energy supply contract.

Energy communities as platforms for promoting local energy participation

If one takes the Energy Community as a platform-based sharing economy model to promote local energy participation in order to create local energy market structures, the established energy value chain with energy generation, feed-in, transmission and distribution, balancing and billing must be localized. Thus, for each future Energy Community, a decentralized value chain must be implemented and integrated into the basic structure of the energy supply system. Before differentiating the community types, the community platform developed by coneva will ensure the following:

  • energy produced and consumed within a community can be differentiated from energy supplied from outside the community
  • with connected local energy management systems, optimization within the community supply can be ensured before individual optimization of a prosumer (self-supply and self-consumption)
  • all relevant energy flows can be billed within the community in addition to the usual grid supply
  • all energy flows for the community provider as well as for the community member can be visualized and partly actively controlled.

Here you can find more information regarding coneva Community or simply ask us directly via the contact form!

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