AI for peer-to-peer renewable energy trading in virtual energy community
Investigating opportunities for prosumers as providers of balancing and ancillary services in the energy market.
What is the challenge that is being addressed?
Installed capacity of PV power plants is increasing, and solar energy is already a mainstream energy source. Falling costs of technology together with digitalisation is creating opportunities for new business models, such as peer-to-peer energy trading, virtual power plants or local energy sharing. However, in order to achieve a high share of variable distributed energy sources in the power system, a number of challenges must be overcome. Those challenges can be divided into techno-economic and regulatory-social. In this context, techno-economic solutions based on AI analytics and valuable recommendations for policy makers will be provided, based on the pilot site and implementation of new regulatory framework. The objectives to be reached within this pilot include: organisation of approximately 100 prosumers (namely households) equipped with solar PV power plants in the virtual energy community; utilisation of AI analytics developed within the project for the goal to allow peer-to-peer energy trading within the community; utilisation of AI analytics developed within the project for the goal to allow appearance of the virtual energy community on the auxiliary services market; developing policy recommendations based on the project experience.
What is the AI solution the project plans to implement?
The prosumers involved in the project will be distributed in at least 5 geographical areas (focusing on cities in Croatia that are already closely collaborating with ZEZ within the Accelerator). The virtual energy community will act on four levels:
- Social level: Citizens organised in a virtual energy community will become a core of know-how in renewable energy projects and use gained experience for implementation of local initiatives – to further utilize local RES potential to encourage growth of local economy, cooperation, social innovation, education, improving local services and local job creation.
- Peer-to-peer energy trading within the virtual energy community: The AI-based platform should provide means for energy trading within the community. The implementation of this level is dependent on the regulatory framework, as peer-to-peer energy trading can be implemented in different ways - either directly between market participants or indirectly through a certified third-party market participant, such as an aggregator.
- Entering of the virtual energy community on the auxiliary services market: The community can act as a virtual power plant on the market and therefore provide auxiliary service to the system operators. Implementation of this provision is also dependent on the regulatory framework in Croatia, which still does not foress virtual power plants. However, due to the course of the project it is expected to be allowed.
- Policy recommendations: The close cooperation with regulators and market operators as well as with academic institutions is foreseen to support the fast dissemination of lessons learned in adaptation of the regulatory framework.
Investigating opportunities for prosumers as providers of balancing and ancillary services in the energy market; Support policy change through advocacy for energy communities, new prosumer business models, virtual power plants, P2P trading; Develop collaboration model which will be easily replicable, and demonstrate the added value of a virtual energy community for further utilising RES local potential and growth of local economy; Demonstrate the impact of active participation of prosumers in the energy market on behavioural patterns of consumers and their energy needs, environment, and quality of life; Education of citizens and creating favourable social momentum.
Who will help implement this solution?
This pilot is implemented within the framework of the “I-NΕRGΥ: Artificial Intelligence for Next Generation Energy” Project. The I-NERGY Project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101016508.
The responsible partner for this Use Case is ZEZcoop (https://www.zez.coop/).