Design of energy communities with participatory co-creation research

Energy systems globally are going through a radical transition in order to halt the impacts of climate change. To help with the energy transition, deployment of distributed energy resources (DERs), such as solar panels, wind turbines, energy storage technologies, etc., are regarded a promising solution. Deployment of DERs at the local level can be realized through energy communities, which involve citizens’ active participation in energy systems by investing in, producing, selling renewable energy, as well as providing flexibility from renewable energy.

Despite their numerous benefits, it can be challenging to form these energy communities since they heavily depend on citizen participation. These citizens might have various motivation to be involved or not in these communities. For instance, financial benefits might play a significant role for some citizens, whereas some might have environmental concerns. Moreover, these citizens also rely on each other to form these communities. Therefore, having sense of community and trust can influence their willingness to participate. Another aspect is the allocation of costs between the participants of energy communities since a fair distribution of investment and operational costs is essential to attract citizens.

The aim of this project is to form/design energy communities by engaging citizens to create solutions to the existing challenges resulting from their situation. For this purpose, a participatory co-creation approach is used to assess whether the co-created solutions can result in a successful design of energy communities.

TU Delft staff involvement: Ir. Ö. (Özge) Okur

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