Comparative Analysis of Renewable Energy Community Designs for District Heating Networks: Case Study of Corticella (Italy)

Maria Alessandra Ancona, Francesco Baldi, Lisa Branchini, Andrea De Pascale, Federico Gianaroli, Francesco Melino, Mattia Ricci
2022 Energies  
In recent years, a rapid increase in the adoption of renewable energy sources and in the transition from a centralized electricity generation system to an increasingly distributed one has occurred. Within this scenario, in line with the European directives for achieving the objectives in the field of energy transition and climate change, energy communities are seen as potential contributors. The purpose of this work is to analyze the application potential of the energy community concept
more » ... ed with district heating networks, leading to better overall energy-economic performance. This was demonstrated for a specific energy community in Italy, and it can be achieved by maximizing internal energy sharing—resulting from the electricity surplus generated by the photovoltaic system—and adopting different strategies that include heat pumps in order to maximize self-consumption and self-sufficiency, as well as to evaluate the most efficient investment in economic terms by exploiting the incentive tariff on shared energy. The results show that the performance of the system can be improved with the proposed design, achieving a significant reduction in the system's energy demand, emissions and costs: compared to the reference case, the use of photovoltaics reduces primary energy demand by approximately 11%, while the addition of the energy community configuration allows emissions to be reduced by nearly 12%, with no additional investment.
doi:10.3390/en15145248 fatcat:ytmavyvvobagtihngb6bjzkgwa