Pricing Mechanisms for Energy Communities: The GridFlex Heeten Project

Victor M.J.J. Reijnders

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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One of the most challenging problems of recent years is climate change. To decrease its effect, lowering CO2 emissions is crucial, e.g., by switching from using fossil fuels to using renewable energy sources. This switch also implies an electrification of appliances, e.g., electric vehicles, or heat pumps.

The resulting energy transition, however, causes problems in our electricity grid, as the electricity from renewable energy sources is often not produced at the same time (and location) as the electrical appliances need it. Next to a mismatch between supply and demand, this also causes huge peaks in the networks, leading to quicker degradation of assets, or even blackouts.

Fortunately, for these problems, solutions exist, amongst others, in the form of pricing mechanisms, that aim, for example, to match the consumption and production of electricity to lower stress on the grid.

As a single household does not provide enough flexibility, in this thesis, we focus on neighbourhoods, or energy communities, as a whole. Hereby not only technical aspects, but also a social component needs to be addressed.

The main motivation for this thesis came from the GridFlex Heeten project, which focussed on implementing innovative pricing mechanisms in an energy community to lower stress on the grid. The community is located in Heeten, a village in the Netherlands, within a neighbourhood of 47 households.

The core focus of this thesis is on the design of pricing mechanisms for energy communities to help alleviate the stress on the electricity grid. Some of these pricing mechanisms were also used in the GridFlex Heeten project. The specific contributions of this thesis are:

• Pricing mechanisms based on losses using grid topology
• A hybrid pricing mechanism for joint system optimization and social acceptance
• An overview of the GridFlex Heeten field test and research project

With the proposed pricing mechanisms, the potential for using pricing mechanisms to alleviate stress on the grid, while taking into account social acceptance was shown. However, before these pricing mechanisms can be applied outside of research projects, many challenges still need to be tackled, such as legal frameworks, the required infrastructure, and the necessary investments.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Hurink, Johann L., Supervisor
  • Gerards, Marco E. T., Co-Supervisor
Award date7 Jul 2023
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-5698-9
Electronic ISBNs978-90-365-5699-6
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2023


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