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Design and Operational Indicators to Foster the Transition of Existing Renewable Energy Communities towards Positive Energy Districts

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 12, Issue 2, June 2024, 1120513
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.d12.0513
Rosaria Volpe , Emanuele Cutore, Alberto Fichera
University of Catania, Catania, Italy

Abstract

Renewable energy communities occupy a critical position in catalysing the energy transition within urban areas, while simultaneously making substantial contributions towards the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015. Positive Energy Districts are also gaining momentum, emerging as a concept of growing interest among researchers and urban planners. Renewable energy communities and positive energy districts are both expressions of sustainable urban energy forms, still there is the need to evaluate if a renewable energy community could be considered a positive energy district and under which conditions this transition will occur. To this scope, a holistic framework examining the transition from existing renewable energy communities to positive energy districts is proposed and characterized by focused and indicators, serving as critical instruments to conduct a tailored evaluation and characterization. Results demonstrate that the transition can be achieved by increasing by 20 % the renewable energy installations in the area.

Keywords: Social stakeholders; Economic assessment; Environmental aspects; PEDs; Energy transition

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