How can electricity be optimally shared in a decentralised and decarbonised energy landscape? The concept of the Energy Community provides an answer to this question by networking all relevant actors locally: The owner of a rooftop solar system or a combined heat and power plant with the electricity consumer who does not generate electricity himself but would like to purchase the surplus electricity of his neighbours, and finally the regional energy supplier and grid operator who must ensure the transport of the electricity and the purchase of missing power quantities.
The concept of regional electricity communities (or energy communities) offers energy suppliers a new holistic end-customer product along the entire energy industry value chain. It is aimed at all electricity customers – regardless of whether they generate their own electricity or not. The electricity generated and consumed in the energy community is green and regional and is shared among the members.
Bavarian utility EWS Schönau is and has been a pioneer of sustainable electricity supply for decades. In order to be able to tap into new markets, it is necessary to develop high-quality digital end customer products. A comprehensive offer in the area of local energy management for prosumers and consumers is to be created. Prosumers should be able to supply each other with their own generated electricity in several regionally clustered electricity communities (« electricity sharing ») and consumers without their own photovoltaic systems should be able to obtain electricity from them. The electricity is to come exclusively from systems that do not receive subsidies.
coneva offers a solution that is perfectly tailored to the needs of the energy supplier. coneva connects all members of the community and visualises the electricity flows live. With the attractive and functional frontends (coneva Energy Landscape and coneva Energy Buddy App), the informational requests from the electricity community are satisfied and the networked customers have the possibility to control their own system and power supply themselves. As a prerequisite, the prosumers are equipped with a smart metering system. For the direct allocation of energy quantities, all feed-in and withdrawal points are combined in a balancing group by coneva energy management. The EWS supplies residual electricity during shortages and sells excess quantities during times of surplus.
EWS is responsible for handling energy-related administrative processes such as the tariff change process, balancing group management and the distribution of monthly bills on the basis of the smart meter data.
The coneva services provide comprehensive support for the economic inclusion, networking and integration of decentralised small plants – across sectors and independent of manufacturers. The energy community currently has 27 participants. These include about 20 PV systems, various battery systems and several small combined heat and power plants. Data can now be easily collected and efficiently used. Their visualisation forms the basis of the energy community and their analysis makes optimised energy management and processes possible. EWS is the operator of the energy community as well as a contact partner, trading partner and platform operator. This enables EWS to open up new business models and target groups, e.g. in trading excess energy of small PV installations on the wholesale market.
- The solution works for all electricity customers – whether they generate their own electricity or not. All customers are informed in real time about electricity generation and consumption. This way, consumption is optimised, which goes hand in hand with falling energy costs and reduced CO2 emissions. The visualisation of data and energy statuses is done in a user-friendly way via the coneva Energy App and coneva Energy Landscape.
- Another medium-term goal is to combine electrical heat generation via heat pumps or heating rods with solar power generation, thus linking the energy sectors of electricity, heat and transport.
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