Harnessing Collaboration for Sustainable Future: COMMUNITAS at Sustainable Places 2023 Conference

The Sustainable Places conference has long been a cornerstone event in the field of sustainable development, bringing together experts, researchers, and innovators dedicated to creating a greener and more sustainable future. In the latest edition of the conference, held in 2023, the COMMUNITAS project took the floor during the Energy Communities Track Day on 15th June, showcasing its main objectives and establishing fruitful collaborations with sister projects.

Main Objectives and Goals of COMMUNITAS

The COMMUNITAS project is driven by a vision of transforming urban communities into sustainable and inclusive spaces. During the Sustainable Places 2023 conference, COMMUNITAS outlined its main objectives and goals, emphasizing its commitment to:

  • pave the way for the empowerment and engagement of different types of consumers and prosumers, placing them at the heart of energy markets,
  • deliver and operate an open, digital “one-stop-shop” (COMMUNITAS Core Platform – CCP) to accelerate the uptake of ECs, while integrating a ECs-driven Knowledge Base,
  • develop tools enabling citizens to be central participants in energy markets via Demand Response and other energy services, with innovative incentive and pricing mechanisms,
  • develop innovative energy markets (P2P energy trading and Guarantees of Origins marketplaces),
  • provide EC main stakeholders – manager and members – with tools for an effective planning, management, and expansion of ECs,
  • empower citizens as fully-fledged energy market players via an innovative methodology for citizen and consumer engagement and value-based proposition design in ECs, following the “Leave No One Behind” principle and ensuring their safety,
  • demonstrate COMMUNITAS innovative tools & services and methodology for citizen and consumer engagement and value-based proposition design in ECs across diverse real-life pilot sites and to perform, on top of the demo actions, a multi-domain holistic impact assessment,
  • generate and validate sustainable Business Models targeting the uptake of ECs, local energy, and flexibility markets, together with supporting policy recommendations,
  • carry effective and engaging Dissemination, Communication and Capacity Building campaigns, while promoting COMMUNITAS’ Replicability and Scalability.

Collaboration with Sister Projects

One of the highlights of the COMMUNITAS presence at the Sustainable Places 2023 conference was the establishment of collaborative partnerships with sister projects. These collaborations foster knowledge exchange, synergies, and shared expertise, amplifying the impact of sustainable development efforts. Here are the sister projects that COMMUNITAS collaborated with HESTIA, LIGHTNESS, NEON, REACT, RESCHOOL, and DE-RISK projects. All these EU-funded initiatives cooperated for the first time to explore the opportunities and limitations of engaging citizens and consumers in energy communities:

  • COMMUNITAS, represented by Filipe Neves da Silva from EDP, focused on unlocking citizen participation in energy markets through energy communities.
  • HESTIA, presented by Aggeliki Aggeli from AAU, shared lessons learned on user engagement.
  • LIGHTNESS, represented by Gonzalo Navarrete from Traza Territorio, discussed the role of local government in enabling greater participation and inclusion in the energy transition, using the Spanish pilot project ManzaEnergía as a case study.
  • REACT, presented by Fausto Sainz from COMET, highlighted their strategy for promoting interest in energy communities in small islands.
  • RESCHOOL, presented by Roberto Petite from Universitat de Girona, discussed strategies and tools for incentivizing and managing flexibility in Energy Communities with distributed resources.
  • DE-RISK, represented by Miguel Miñano from MIWenergía, presented a case study on crowdlending among neighbors in a Spanish pilot site for collective self-consumption, where an energy community is already established, with MIW managing the P2P economic flows between users.

Future activities of the COMMUNITAS project, and joint initiatives of all sister projects will be announced on this website, and COMMUNITAS social media channels: