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New clean energy communities in a changing European energy system

The threat of global warming urges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the next few decades. Key to the achievement of this is the

energy sector where an ever-growing share of renewable energy, flexible demand response, energy storages and technologies that allow customer engagement have stimulated the transition to clean energy. At the core of this transition are citizens who are involved in the production, storage and distribution of self-produced energy. Social innovations in the energy sector challenge the traditional business model of large energy utilities. One of such social innovations are clean energy communities that use smart technologies and are characterized by a large diversity of participating actors, leading to a multitude of different coalitions between citizens, municipalities and the industry. Using a highly innovative holistic approach, the NEWCOMERS project will explore and evaluate new types of clean energy communities as social innovations. Both at the national and local level, the project will assess the regulatory, institutional and social conditions, which support the operation and diffusion of energy communities. Based on stakeholder interaction, the NEWCOMERS project will deliver recommendations how energy communities can be supported. RWI will assess the potential for stimulating energy conservation behavior and demand response, exploiting the distinct features of energy communities. In particular, we aim to conduct one or more Randomized Controlled Trials to test the causal effects of interventions to identify strategies that are particularly promising to support conservation behavior and load shifting in energy communities. Moreover, RWI coordinates an international large-scale survey in all six countries of the project partners to elicit a large suite of attitudes, preferences and perceptions regarding energy communities.


Currently there are no publications available for this project

Project start:
01. June 2019

Project end:
31. May 2022

Project management:
Prof. Dr. Mark Andor

Project staff:
Dr. Lukas Tomberg, Prof. Dr. Stephan Sommer, Delia Niehues, Dr. Nils Christian Hoenow

Project partners:
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam , Lunds Universitet, University of Oxford, University of Ljubljana, Conzilio Nationale delle Ricerche, CONSENSUS Communications d.o.o., GEN-I d.o.o.

European Commission, Horizon 2020