Due to the potential for deploying distributed generation, improving energy efficiency and adopting sustainable energy-related practices, consumers provide significant value in the energy sector transformation. If their interests and goals are similar, they can group together and form energy communities. Energy communities enable consumers to jointly pursue their individual and collective economic, environmental and social goals, while simultaneously contributing to the decarbonization of the energy system. Considering the growing interest in this field, this paper aims to enhance the understanding of the social arrangements, the technical designs and the impacts of energy communities. The social arrangements of energy communities are discussed in relation to the different actors, their roles and interactions. Then, the paper reviews the technical aspects of designing various local energy systems, while taking into account the goals of energy community members and outside actors. The reviewed literature is benchmarked with respect to the methods, modelling objectives and the constraints used in the design process. Finally, the paper quantifies the economic, environmental, technical and social impacts of energy communities, reviews the numerical indicators used to quantify these impacts and provides a critical discussion of the findings. Based on the findings, future research directions are highlighted.

Renewable Energy Vol. 169

Vladimir Z. Gjorgievski, Snezana Cundeva, George E. Georghiou


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