The last years various theoretical and practical questions continuously emerge as a result of the ever-changing energy environment. Those questions, from our perspective, might regard the role, the operation and the good practices of the energy communities or, they might be more generic, like related to the technological innovations, the economic models, the social impact of the energy transition, the role of the local communities and the relation of all the previous with the environmental and climate crisis.

In Collective Energy we understand that these questions require careful and thorough approach and this is the main reason that our research activity constitutes a fundamental aspect of our operation. This activity is realized thanks to the long research and academic experience of some of the members of Collective Energy and to the collaborations we have with various academic and research institutes and independent researchers, among which the Smart Rue research group of the National Technical University of Athens stands out.

Community Energy Transition in the Ionian Islands – An analysis and scenario roadmap with focus on Corfu and Zakynthos (2021)

For this report, Collective Energy collaborated with Greenpeace and the SmartRUE research team of NTUA. The goal of this report was to study and then to create a set of recommendations so that Ionian islands, and more specifically Corfu and Zakynthos, realize their energy transition using a model that is based on local renewable energy generation and with the vehicle of citizen energy communities, respecting, at the same time, the local social, cultural and environmental aspects of these islands

In this study, the current local and general context (economic, social, energy etc.) of these islands is analyzed. The two islands are based on standard mass tourism, and this is clearly pictured on all sectors. In the study we highlight the correlation between the electrical consumption profile and the tourism and air temperature. Then, we set the energy transition goals for both islands and based on hypothetical scenarios of energy project implementation we assess the contribution of the energy communities in this transition. Finally, combining the results of all this analysis we compose a set of recommendations related to the most crucial points relevant to energy community growth in the two islands.

This study is an attempt to take a holistic approach to the issue of the regional energy transition with main actor the energy communities. You can find this study here and an executive summary here.

Photovoltaics Enabling Sustainable Energy Communities: Technological Drivers and Emerging Markets (2021)

Local energy markets, under certain circumstances, can be proven useful tools for the energy communities. In this paper, that was realized thanks to the collaboration with SmartRUE research team of NTUA and the KTH—Royal Institute of Technology, we investigate the economic benefits of an energy community investing in small-scale photovoltaics (PVs) when local energy trading is operated amongst the community members. The motivation stems from the open research question on whether a community-operated local energy market can enhance the investment feasibility of behind-the-meter small-scale PVs installed by energy community members. Firstly, a review of the models, mechanisms and concepts required for framing the relevant concepts is conducted, while a clarification of nuances at important terms is attempted. Next, a tool for the investigation of the economic benefits of operating a local energy market in the context of an energy community is developed. We design the local energy market using state-of-the-art formulations, modified according to the requirements of the case study. The model is applied to an energy community that is formed under the Greek regulatory framework. You can find this publication here.