Research Projects and Publications

Analysis of the Concepts of Self-Sufficiency of RES of the Local Energy Community of Luče, Slovenia

Power Systems and Smart Grids

Author: Nicole Bird
Year: 2022
Supervisors: Dr. Ewa L. Carlson, Dr. Andrej Gubina


Energy communities play a vital role in energy transition. As countries strive to reach climate goals outlined in the national legislature in accordance with the Paris Agreement, energy communities have been established as a means to incorporate renewable energy technologies into the energy mix. Energy communities are established by community members who want to generate their own energy to address issues such as power outages and grid instability, in which renewable energy technologies are integrated into the local energy mix. One of the goals energy communities aim to achieve is to become self-sufficient, maintain reliable local energy production and have less dependence on the national grid.

This paper presents a list of factors, i.e., battery storage, weather and seasons, energy community size, and power quality, relevant for the optimization of the self-sufficiency of energy communities, based on literature review along with data analysis from an energy community in Slovenia. Furthermore, the optimal structure of the energy community is discussed as it pertains to the case study of Luče. This entailed investigating these factors by analyzing different scenarios regarding the size of the energy community, i.e., the production and consumption profiles, and the effect of weather variables, i.e., rain, cloud cover, etc., and battery storage by comparing the self-sufficiency profiles of the buildings with batteries and the buildings without batteries using Python.

Battery storage, weather and seasons, consumer behavior, and policies are factors that were determined to affect the self-sufficiency of the case study of Luče energy community. Self-sufficiency of the energy community improved by about 10-20% depending on the time of year when high consuming buildings were removed from the profiles. Due to complexities surrounding the energy flow from and to the community battery, the community battery was disregarded in the battery storage analysis and resulted in inconclusive data regarding the self-sufficiency of the household batteries. Further studies would include completing an assessment incorporating the community battery, and conducting scenarios regarding the size energy community and the impact of adding individual batteries to the buildings.