September 9, 2022 / Category: Events, Internal Meetings

Policy Workshop and ESG Meeting report

by Antje Nettelbeck @Bax&Co and Nikolas Giampaolo @Deep Blue Italy

Last 31st of May the Policy Workshop and second ESG Meeting took place in Brussels at the VUB premises.

RENAISSANCE tested and validated its approach and tools in European and International pilots and the meeting had the objective of sharing our results with the community of experts. To this aim the meeting consisted in two sessions: the first part of the day was dedicated to the collection of feedback around the regulatory barriers and also collected further policy insights both from Academia and Industry representatives. The second part focused on the release of the RENERGISE tool, our multi-vector optimisation tool fostering the preliminary design of new energy communities in Europe.

Twenty people joined the event, including six project members. All participants were given the opportunity to register for both sessions and interact directly during the open discussions. In both session participants have been very proactive and keen, coming up with useful remarks, new ideas and solutions to issues.

Morning session – Policy workshop

Policy Workshop | after an extensive regulatory analysis covering all countries of pilot and replication sites of the RENAISSANCE project, we are now developing policy recommendations that we plan to validate through a structured feedback exchange session with all invitees.

Within the RENAISSANCE Project a regulatory analysis regarding energy community regulation of the participating countries was concluded. The analysis was based on extensive desk research and exchange with the pilot- and replication sites. Additionally a country  heat-map based on KPIs was developed to compare the state of the regulation cross-country and to provide targeted possibilities for policy makers
and energy community initiators to learn from  energy communities ecosystems in different countries. Also policy recommendations were formulated that comprise the problems of the individual countries with regard to the legal basis for the establishment of energy communities.

To present and verify these results and findings a validation workshop was organized on May 31st 2022 in Brussels, where 12 experts of the field of energy communities from five countries came together for an
2-hour interactive session. As one of the main insights the participants confirmed  that in a lot of countries the same problems “are popping up” and that the regulative definitions from transposing the European Directives still vary a lot on country level, as the individual regulations have to fit the specific regulative background of the countries.

After presentations and discussion, the main Barriers resulting from regulation for the establishment of energy communities are:

  1. Financial viability: a sustainable business case needs to be enabled through subsidies and reducing of cost, otherwise the projects cant go ahead. Including access to new technologies, subsidizing
    energy storage and cost reduction of side costs like technicians and legal experts.
  2. Data management: Data needs to be easily accessible. Stakeholders should be incentivized to share relevant data and corporate so that flexible services can be established by the communities.
  3. Standardized implementation: All countries interpret the Directives differently and adjust them to their current regulation. This makes cross-country comparison and collaboration difficult

To conclude, the workshop provided a productive and interactive opportunity to verify the results of the regulatory analyses and exchange thoughts about energy communities and their future

Afternoon session – ESG meeting

The afternoon was dedicated to presenting policy makers and ESG members the two interactive tools:

  • the Multi-Vector Optimisation tool RENERGISE, jointly developed by VUB and CERTH
  • the online gamification tool “Can You RENew it” developed by Deep Blue Italy

The RENERGISE tool was presented on screen by Julian Ruddick, from VUB, who simulated the use of the tool by three different users. The gamification tool was presented by Rebecca Hueting from Deep Blue Italy, who explained shortly how the online videogame could attract younger generations and all non-expert people to the “collaborative” approach needed to be a member of an emerging energy community.

The participants’ feedback helped the whole team collect a few practical changes alread implemented to better present graphs and results and further suggestions for future developments. Read more about the RENERGISE tool and how we organised a user-centred feedback session:


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