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SocialRES Project – Fostering Energy Democracy through Social Innovation
S. Caneva, P. Alonso, I. Lizarralde, I. Valentin, A. Abi Akle, M. Hamwi, V. Kromrey, D. Vedel, A. Wotjen, A. Schneller, L. Domröse, A. Ferrari, C. Crippa, E. Denny, J. Carroll, M. Regidor, S. Mulero, I. Lacoste, R. Ruiz, N. Brito Jorge, M. Teixeira, K. Harder, T. Harwood, T. Šimek, D. Leonte, M. Policarp
Aggregation, Crowdfunding, Social innovation, Cooperatives
Finance, Markets and Policies
Subtopic: Policies and Scenarios for Renewables, Societal and Global Challenges
Event: 37th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition
Session: 7DO.9.6
2038 - 2041
ISBN: 3-936338-73-6
Paper DOI: 10.4229/EUPVSEC20202020-7DO.9.6
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper


SocialRES aims at fostering energy democracy through social innovations defined as cooperatives, aggregators of renewable energy and crowdfunding platforms. The photovoltaic technology is one of the most promising technology in terms of social acceptance since it can be adapted to a variety of surfaces in buildings [1] and can offer a competitive source for the electricity supply almost everywhere nowadays [2]. PV is therefore often included among the technologies to be financed through energy cooperatives and crowdfunding campaigns. Moreover, as decentralized source of renewable electricity, it is utilized in Peer to Peer (P2P) virtual platforms implemented by aggregators as a concrete alternative to the traditional utilities based on power plants supplied by fossil fuels. Small - scale decentralised PV systems can be considered as the utilities of the future, when managed by aggregators as Virtual Power Plants (VPPs). They will therefore represent a fundamental piece in the path towards energy democracy. In order to make this sustainable future possible, having in mind the urgency generated by the climate change, a disrupted shift is needed in terms of implementation of social innovations for the energy sector. SocialRES aims to devise effective ways of increasing social innovation leading to greater social acceptability of renewable energy systems. This is done by a better understanding of support structures for successful social innovations in the renewable energy sector such as renewable energy cooperatives, aggregators and crowdfunding platforms. These businesses facilitate consumers to take an active role in the energy sector. Through research excellence and cocreation of knowledge, SocialRES will develop socially innovative and inclusive strategies for the energy system of the future. SocialRES will supplement the existing fragmented data on social innovations with new understandings from businesses, end-users and stakeholders to provide a comprehensive evidence base for policy design. Innovative techniques are employed such as a Peer to Peer (P2P) crowd-investing for renewable energy sources projects, P2P lending and P2P virtual photovoltaic electricity platforms for aggregators. Within the SocialRES project, an innovative P2P photovoltaic virtual platform will be developed as a pilot software application in off-line mode and will facilitate the understanding about existing barriers within current electricity markets and policies. Experience will be accumulated related to the main issues with the common access for energy trades between different actors on the market: prosumers, consumers, balancing responsible party and distributed photovoltaic generators. SocialRES is a research and innovation project funded by the European Commission.