Due to growing concerns about CO2 emissions, renewables such as PV and wind energy have increased substantially over the past years. Their growing deployment, intermittent nature and lack of storage facilities are however making it more challenging to balance demand and supply and to stay within the capacity limits of the electricity grid.  A community-based Virtual Power Plant (cVPP) facilitates local community energy initiatives to aggregate distributed generation and flexibility through an Energy Management System (EMS) platform which models price changes, energy flows and weather conditions, and thereby helps to solve the grid problems. Being organized by the community and driven by their needs, a cVPP works for citizens: it enables energy communities to manage energy demand and supply within their community and to trade energy and flexibility on markets, which helps democratise the energy system.  In the current regulatory framework the viability of cVPP business models is limited. Yet, updates of the EU’s energy policy framework (Winter Package) are expected to improve the level-playing-field for cVPPs. 

cVPP realization and capitalization

In the first project phase (2017-2020), the cVPP project developed and tested a socio-technical concept of a cVPP in 3 communities in Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium and developed a Mobilisation and Replication (MoRe) model to help 9 other communities developing their own cVPPs. 

The second phase (2020-2022) supports the capitalization where cVPP goes from replication, doing more of the same, towards upscaling, taking cVPP to the next level. Specifically, this phase focuses on: (i) technical upscaling of the EMS by adding assets and experimenting with trade and flexibility and (ii) social upscaling of the business cases through connection of new target groups such as SMEs, industries and rental sector, and territories. The MoRe model is now picked up by Rescoop, a European federation of over 1500 cooperatives, and using insights from cVPP upscaling and the transposition of Winter Package the model is getting upgraded.

The Interreg cVPP project is a unique research project. It gives a very rare opportunity to set real innovations in practice and study them. This is very different from usual research routines, when innovations are studied that are initiated by others and that happened in the past. Given the current sustainability challenges and the urgency to act, this is the right way to go. The project seeks to empower prosumers and energy communities and its efforts have been rewarded with winning the EU Sustainable Energy Citizens Award 2020 and theIE&IS Valorization Price 2020.





    Technische Universiteit Eindhoven (TU/e)

    • Tipperary Energy Agency (TEA)
    • Stichting Duurzame Projecten Loenen (DPL)
    • EnerGent
  • LAST UPDATED: 28/03/2022 12:15