Development of a Tool to Analyze the Economic Viability of Energy Communities

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Energy Communities (EC) are an instrument to improve the efficiency and autarky of Smart Grids by increasing the local consume of the energy locally produced. Energetic (energy flows, CO2 emissions) and economic (operative costs, acquisition and maintenance of technologies) aspects of all components of the EC must be evaluated to quantify the participation of the EC to achieve the proposed goal. Effective analysis of EC must account for numerous complexities and uncertainties, requiring advanced computational tools. The main contribution of this paper is the introduction of a software package to analyze the viability of ECs focused on the particularities imposed by the new Austrian law for renewable energies, which optimizes the energy flows between all participants. The results of the test case show more than a 14.2% reduction of global cost. At the same time, all participants achieve better results operating inside of the EC than alone. The range of cost reductions varies between 2.75% and 51%. The spread of these reductions opens a question about a fair and optimal way to set trade prices inside of the EC for future works.
Original languageEnglish
JournalRenewable Energy and Environmental Sustainability
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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