Renewable energy communities are catalysts of social innovation, the citizens’ engagement in energy actions, and the exploitation of local resources. Thus, this paper defines a model for analyzing and optimally sizing energy systems serving renewable energy communities. Then, the proposed and replicable model was tailored to the economic feasibility analysis of a renewable energy community in the municipality of Tirano (Northern Italy). An energy audit was carried out to identify the electricity production and consumption within the perimeter of the primary substation and the thermal energy demand of the existing district heating network. The technical features of the energy conversion systems serving the renewable energy community were determined: an organic Rankine cycle biomass-based cogeneration plant, a mini-hydro plant, and a distributed photovoltaic system. Moreover, several different scenarios have been identified, in terms of cogeneration operating mode, photovoltaic penetration, and thermal energy economic value. The results show that, moving from 4.22 MW to 5.22 MW of photovoltaic peak power, the annual renewable electricity production increases by 10.1%. In particular, the simple pay back ranges between 4.90 and 4.98 years and the net present value between EUR 12.4 and 13.3 M for CHP operating at full power mode, considering that thermal energy available from the cogeneration unit is sold at EUR 49.2/MWh. These outcomes demonstrate the economic feasibility of wood-biomass-based renewable energy communities, which may help to enlarge the contribution of renewable technologies other than photovoltaic.

Biomass-Based Renewable Energy Community: Economic Analysis of a Real Case Study

Ceglia F;Marrasso E;Roselli C;Sasso M;
2022

Abstract

Renewable energy communities are catalysts of social innovation, the citizens’ engagement in energy actions, and the exploitation of local resources. Thus, this paper defines a model for analyzing and optimally sizing energy systems serving renewable energy communities. Then, the proposed and replicable model was tailored to the economic feasibility analysis of a renewable energy community in the municipality of Tirano (Northern Italy). An energy audit was carried out to identify the electricity production and consumption within the perimeter of the primary substation and the thermal energy demand of the existing district heating network. The technical features of the energy conversion systems serving the renewable energy community were determined: an organic Rankine cycle biomass-based cogeneration plant, a mini-hydro plant, and a distributed photovoltaic system. Moreover, several different scenarios have been identified, in terms of cogeneration operating mode, photovoltaic penetration, and thermal energy economic value. The results show that, moving from 4.22 MW to 5.22 MW of photovoltaic peak power, the annual renewable electricity production increases by 10.1%. In particular, the simple pay back ranges between 4.90 and 4.98 years and the net present value between EUR 12.4 and 13.3 M for CHP operating at full power mode, considering that thermal energy available from the cogeneration unit is sold at EUR 49.2/MWh. These outcomes demonstrate the economic feasibility of wood-biomass-based renewable energy communities, which may help to enlarge the contribution of renewable technologies other than photovoltaic.
smart energy community, renewable energy community, biomass-based cogeneration system, district heating network
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12070/54797
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