Tecnical article

Energy communities, the commitment to self-consumption

26 may 2022
Ander Goikoetxea Arana Professor at Mondragón Universitatea, Energy Storage Area

Energy communities are presented as an alternative for citizens to participate in the energy transition. They are generally projects based on Renewable Energies that promote consumer empowerment.

In the download button you can access the presentation that Ander made at the event "Comunidades energéticas, la apuesta por el autoconsumo" (available only in Spanish)

In 2019 there were 3500 projects of Renewable Energy cooperatives, eco-villages, small district heating and citizen-led projects in the EU, but most of these projects have been developed in countries such as Germany, Denmark or the Netherlands. After the approval of the European directives that promote these communities, these types of projects are multiplying in our environment. As we have seen in the conference held in Mondragón.

There are several definitions for energy communities, but there are always three types of actors: consumers, energy suppliers and community promoters. This figure of the promoter is key for citizens to take the leap to make an investment that helps reduce energy consumption and increase the use of renewable energies.

The main activities of these Energy Communities are:

  • Energy generation from renewable sources.
  • Providing energy efficiency services (including, for example, building renovations).
  • Supply, consumption, aggregation and storage of energy and potentially distribution.
  • Provision of electric vehicle charging services or other energy services.


Energy cooperatives are the most common form of organizing these communities, although there are many other legal and management forms.

Among the technological challenges for the development of these networks are: the optimal sizing of their resources, maximizing self-consumption from own sources, developing platforms for buying and selling energy among equals or developing technological standards to access flexible energy markets.

The development of energy management platforms, Digital Twins, blockchain platforms, or the development of prediction tools are the main lines of work within the field of engineering, in relation to Energy Communities.

Renewable energies, Impact on society Renewable power generation Impact on society