Green Energy Community (GECO)

Green Energy Community (GECO)

National project

The Green Energy Community (GECO) was a demonstration project that took place in the Pilastro – Roveri district of Bologna. It comprised the creation of an energy community, a new entity recently introduced by the EU Clean Energy Package (CEP). The GECO project intended to tackle social, technical and economic aspects related to the creation of the green energy community in order to increase sustainability, reduce energy poverty and generate a low carbon economic cycle.
GECO managed the energy community and also provided to its members services related to technical assistance with energy saving, renewable energy design, training and promotion of behavioral changes among the citizens and community stakeholders. This was enabled through renewable energy, storage, smart appliances, optimisation algorithms, blockchain technologies and the internet of things (IoT).  

The project sought to test the smart solutions to maximise self-consumption of energy, storage and local resources, increasing the flexibility through real-time monitoring, predictive analytics and automated response.
It was also expected that the synergies, frictions and disruptions arising from the functioning of the green and smart energy community would help to shape the transposition of CEP into the Italian legal framework, the neighborhoods and the national energy grid. This is because the GECO community did not only provide competitive clean energy prices, but also inform national policymakers.

In the end, the main goals of the project were to mitigate and adapt to climate change, to develop cooperation among neighbors and provide added-value to the local economy. All local households and business members of the community benefited from the GECO actions.

 

Some Key Performance Indicators of the project included:

  • Attracted the investment by the project: 1,962,760€ to RE projects (1.556.000€ in 2022 and 406.760 in 2021)
  • Knowledge triangle learning and knowledge sharing events held by the project: 40
  • Cities or regions engaged in the replication: 10
  • Publications in scientific journals: 2 (https://doi.org/10.1093/jue/juac023 and https://doi.org/10.1016/j.erss.2021.101994 )
  • Education Support service(s) and activities held: 13
  • Innovations introduced to the market: 1 - Master Plan in support of the Municipalities in the creation of locals Renewable Energy Communities
  • Knowledge Transfer to THIRD PARTY: 1

The project was carried out from September 2019 to December 2022. 

The partners of the project were: AESS, ENEA, UNIBO, CAAB and Agenzia Pilastro, with the Emilia Romagna Region, GSE, RSE, City of Bologna, local associations, businesses and citizens and with the financial support of EIT Climate-KIC. It involved non-profit associations, public institutions, research institutions and universities, private companies and citizens.





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