Wittenborg Makes Further Strides in Renewable Energy Solutions for Communities
Wittenborg University has made further strides in the development of economic tools for collectives, which refers to community-owned renewable energy solutions, generated and consumed by them for commercial and household purposes.
This builds on the economic tools it has already developed and presented to encourage SME’s to get engaged in the use of green energy. These initiatives fall under the auspices of the EU-funded GREAT-project, of which Wittenborg is one of the Dutch partners.
In the planning stages of GREAT it was acknowledged that not only SME’s are taking initiatives on renewable energy, but households and local communities are getting more and more interested in the subject.
It was decided that four types of collectives were to be investigated:
• Collectives of private households in a village, town or city
• Collectives of companies located together in a business area
• Housing corporations
• Investment consortia of mixed shareholders such as citizens, companies and investors.
One collective in each of the 4 categories will be selected and focused on.
Wittenborg researcher, Dr Mirjam Leloux, said that although the smart grid developments are lagging behind in the European Union and little data are available for economic evaluation they were able to develop some new business models for collectives.
Each of this relates to a renewable energy generation method (PV, solar heating or wind energy) which is used by a “prosumer” (or producer of renewable energy which concomitantly also partly uses the energy produced), that sells the excess of energy to either a consumer or delivers it back to the grid. The profitability and payback time of the renewable energy system is a function of the capital investment, the energy producing capacity and kWh prices the prosumer obtains.
“We were able to extend the earlier economic tool for SMEs with a follow-up module for the four collectives business models.”
©Wittenborg University Press
by Anesca Smith