Report on local energy communities in Norway
Several real estate developers and grid companies want to let customers join together in local energy communities that own power production facilities, such as solar power plants and batteries. On behalf of NVE, the THEMA Consulting Group has prepared a report that maps planned local energy communities in Norway, the potential and barriers to development. According to the report, there is no need for immediate regulatory changes.
The Norwegian Water and Energy Agency (NVE) regulates the power grid companies to ensure that customers get the correct quality at the right price. Since the grid companies have a monopoly, there are rules for which activities they can engage in and what they can require customers to pay for via the grid rental. The local energy communities challenge the existing regulation with a view to who should own and operate grids and what rights the customers in a local energy society have.
“For NVE, it is important to safeguard consumer rights, both in terms of grid rent, quality of supply and access to the power market. We, therefore, wanted to obtain an overview of local energy communities in Norway,” Director of the Energy Regulatory Authority, Ove Flataker, informs.
The report states that most of the identified projects are run by property developers and that the projects are still immature. According to the report, only some projects have analyzed the cost/benefit for the participants in the project. None of the investigated projects has considered the overall socio-economic benefit of their project.
THEMA was asked to highlight points in today’s regulations that could prevent local energy communities from being realised. It concludes that there is no need for immediate changes in current regulations, and in the first instance proposes to grant certain projects exemption from parts of the framework.
“NVE is now working on a framework for pilot projects, which will make it easier to apply for exemptions, in order to test solutions and business models. A temporary exemption from the regulations, for example, gives the opportunity to try out technology that can reduce the strain on the grid. For us, it is important to think about the social economy in the projects and see if the projects contribute positively to the power system and to society as a whole. It is also important to ensure the correct distribution of grid costs between local energy communities and other customers. Pilot projects can contribute to increased knowledge both for the players and the authorities about the effects of emerging technology and business models,” Ove Flataker concludes.
Get the complete (English) pdf report here.
© NVE / #Norway Today