Svalin is a community with 20 households in Trekroner, Roskilde (Denmark). Houses and shared infrastructure there were designed to accommodate solar panels, geothermic heat pump and electric vehicles. The community as a whole is energy positive, meaning that it produces more renewable energy than it consumes, on a yearly basis. As of now, each household consumes its electricity generation while transferring the electricity surplus to the electric grid under current Danish regulatory framework. The community members discuss some of their motivations to live in this energy and sustainability focused community in the video below.
However, they intend to collectively consume 100% renewable and local by sharing their renewable energy generation, thus avoiding the traditional intermediary parties. Pierre-Elouan, an inhabitant of Svalin, says “I would love to directly provide my neighbors with the excess solar energy produced from my rooftop. If all doing that, the community may agree about how to compensate each other”. For another member of the Svalin community, the rationale is different: “Wouldn’t it be great to be able to charge my electric vehicle at DTU, Lyngby campus, by directly using solar power produced from my own rooftop in Svalin?”
These seemingly simple questions raise the more fundamental issue of re-thinking the electricity market in a more consumer-centric fashion.
“Why wouldn’t one be able to directly share the energy (renewable or not) he/she produces with neighbours, friends, or to sell it to anyone that would like to profit of that resource?” asks Pierre Pinson, Project Coordinator and Professor at DTU. “This will also provide incentives for consumption to adapt to the availability of local renewable power generation.”
All these reasons led us to design the Energy Collective project, which investigates consumer-centric electricity markets in various forms (e.g. community-based, peer-to-peer), with the ultimate goal to rethink the way we produce, consumer and exchange electric energy. Besides fundamental work on market organization, regulatory framework, technology enablers and negotiation processes, as well as on relation to grid operation, Svalin’s aim is to be the first demonstration side in Denmark of a community sharing electric energy in a truly flexible and consumer-centric manner.