Energy communities are leaving the building
Written by our Consultant Thomas Craps
The beginning of July marks the start of vacation time for a lot of people. It also marks the expansion of energy sharing beyond the restrictions of apartment buildings and the start of peer-to-peer sale of energy amongst energy communities in Flanders.
But what is an energy community and who participates in it?
- The energy community is the whole of participants who share or sell green energy among themselves.
- Everyone who participates in energy sharing or peer-to-peer sale is a participant. As a participant you can send energy to other participants or receive energy from others in the community.
- The participants appoint an administrator amongst themselves who acts as a representative between Fluvius and the community.
The energy community is said to play a big role in social innovation. They reflect a fundamental shift in consumer behavior while providing economic benefits for the members and democratizing environmental friendly technologies. Be sure to read our previous article on energy communities here if you would like to find out more about the concept.
The uprising of the digital energy meter has had a great impact on new initiatives in the energy market. You can read all about that in our article. One of these initiatives has been the additional smart meter regime on your digital meter. This meter regime allows customers to participate in the process of energy sharing within energy communities.
Since January 2022 energy sharing has been made possible in Flanders for parties within the same building. More specifically residents of the same apartment block or syndics were already able to trade their locally produced energy amongst each other.
Starting from July 2022 the possibilities of energy sharing expanded beyond the walls of the apartment building. Since July there is the possibility to share or sell your excess locally produced energy amongst your family, friends, neighbors or other people on the Flemish distribution grid. You can even share the energy with your own vacation home near the Belgian coast. The only condition for creating these energy communities is for all participants to have a digital energy meter.
How does energy sharing work in practice?
The energy injection of the prosumer is distributed on the basis of 3 principles:
- The sharing or selling of energy to other active participants happens every 15 minutes.
- As a receiver you can never receive more energy than you consumed in those 15 minutes.
- The remaining injection flows back to the participant that injected the energy.
Fluvius as DGO (Distribution Grid Operator) is responsible for calculating the exchanged energy between the different parties based on the quarterly hour values. These calculations are then passed on to the energy suppliers so they can adjust the invoices of their customers.
People interested in creating an energy community can register on the Fluvius portal through quite an easy process.
It is clear for all that energy communities have left the singular building and are ready to spread across the region.