Optimising the design and operation of local energy communities

Press Release -

ICONS brings together its assets on communication, social and business innovation in the eNeuron project

Energy communities offer a decentralised and bottom-up approach to producing, managing and using energy. This makes them an optimal solution for energy islands in particular and for confined systems in general. Through this approach, renewables and other emerging technologies can be efficiently integrated while active “prosumers” and other players across the energy value chain support the community via advanced schemes and services.

However, energy communities are complex to design and roll out due to multiple stakeholders with different interests, and multiple energy carriers such as renewables, transport, thermal, H2 storage and biomass. They may also take various legal and business forms such as partnerships and cooperatives. 

Against this backdrop, the eNeuron project aims to set out a practical and evidence-based framework for optimising the design and operation of local energy communities acting as energy hubs.

“The eNeuron project gives ICONS the opportunity to bring all our competences in communication, dissemination, social innovation and exploitation together” says Elisabeth Schmid, Director at ICONS. “We are working on the definition of social innovation strategies, designing new engagement frameworks and measuring social impacts. Through our work we will promote prosumer-oriented solutions, empowering citizens in the energy transition while engaging with multiple players at European level and designing exploitation pathways, as we believe that socio-economic innovation is key to the EU’s climate change mitigation strategy”.

As local energy communities grow, citizens will enjoy cheaper energy thanks to the optimal use of local power sources. Carbon emissions will drop as a result of better integration of renewables and emerging technologies into local energy systems. And power grids will be more resilient and sustainable through the integrated approach of multi-carrier energy systems. Four pilot schemes will test the eNeuron local energy communities’ framework: a city and its major energy nodes (Bydgozecz, Poland), a football stadium and its vicinity (Skagerak, Norway), a naval district with its own distribution grid (Lisbon, Portugal), and a university campus across several sites (Ancona, Italy). The overall purpose is to check the tool’s effectiveness and replicability as a concept and solution for different local contexts.

For more information: www.eneuron.eu

Media contact: Mark Thompson, ICONS mark.thompson@icons.it 

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement N° 957779