WEBINAR RECAP - Unlocking community-based flexibility to transform the energy system
On 20th of November, REScoop.eu organised in the scope of the REScoop VPP project, the FLEXcoop project and the cVPP project, a webinar sharing insights and stories from energy communities that are trying to capture the benefits of a citizen-centred approach to manage decentralised energy resources.
"Energy communities" and "aggregation" have been buzzwords in the centre of various debates while writing of the Clean Energy Package. While the new legislation is being implemented, it is key to understand the opportunities created by these 2 key innovations. Energy cooperatives and other energy market actors have experimented with these concepts in different EU projects, trying to capture the benefits of a citizen-centred approach and of new technologies to manage decentralised energy resources.
During the 2 hours long webinar, we tried to clarify these new concepts and illustrate them with hands-on experiences from our project partners and energy communities in the field.
Roland Tual, project manager at REScoop.eu, gives an overview of some of the concepts important for further discussing our topic of today. He highlights that both innovative activities and energy communities can really change the system. But they are two different concepts. Energy communities can provide flexibility services, next to many other different activities. On the other hand, flexibility services can be provided by different actors (including Ecs).
Dr. Anna Wieczorek, professor at the University of Eindhoven, gives an overview of the different flexibility services and explains the concept of a virtual Power Plant and what it can mean for energy communities. She highlights the important role energy communities can play in managing the system. Professor Wieczorek advocates for already taking action, although the provisions from the Clean Energy Package are not transposed in all Member States yet. "Let's not wait for others to translate the winter package, let’s help them by articulating how we think it should be done!", she concludes.
Luc Meskens from Energent, a cooperative in Ghent (Belgium) presents how his local cooperative is experimenting with a community-based virtual power plant. In Ghent, the cooperative tests how residential flexibility managed through an energy management system can help stabilising the grid at the neighborhood level where more and more are putting solar PV on their roofs.
André Zeijseink and Jasper Kroondijk from Loenen Energie Neutraal, a cooperative in Loenen (the Netherlands) share their dream for the Loenen community. By installing solar panels and other sustainable technologies, they want Loenen to become energy-neutral and self-sufficient within 20 years. By implementing a community based virtual power plant, citizens can use their own electricity locally as much as possible. André Zeijseink emphasised that the cVPP is developed by and for the citizens of Loenen.
Dirk Vansintjan, president of REScoop.eu gives an overview of the status of the transposition of the related clean energy package provisions in Belgium, Spain, France and Germany enabling frameworks. He gives an overview of the tools that will be given to energy communities to develop flexibility services.
Please find below the recording of the webinar, the presentations of our speakers and the chat history.