About

The Lightness project aims to empower citizens to generate, share and sell renewable energy and thereby contribute to making the European energy sector more sustainable and democratic.

What are Citizen Energy Communities?

Citizen Energy Communities are defined by the European Commission as legal entities, made of citizen associations, cooperatives, local authorities and enterprises, that team up to participate in the electricity system. These communities make it easier for their members to play an active role in the energy transition and enjoy economic, social, and environmental benefits.

The Lightness Project will:

We align with the strong belief that the future EU electricity system is a distributed and open-market one. CECs will play a main role in engaging citizens to unlock their full potential in their communities’ energy solutions. CECs will ensure energy security and expand the use of Renewable Energy Sources (RES).

For such an endeavour, the Lightness Project has assembled a multidisciplinary and international team of 13 partner organizations , and 5 pilot sites across 8 EU countries.

Solar panel on detached house

Objectives

Promote democratic access to energy

Promote democratic
access to energy

Implement technological solutions

Implement
technological solutions

Assess environmental, social and economic impact

Assess environmental, social and economic impacts

Develop guidelines and political roadmaps

Develop guidelines and
political roadmaps

Create new partnerships and business models

Create new partnerships
and business models

Spread the word about this new energy culture

Spread the word about
this new energy culture

Promote democratic
access to energy

Promote democratic
access to energy

We will demonstrate all the benefits of the Lightness project, both technical and social, through validation in 5 pilot sites located in The Netherlands, Poland, France, Italy and Spain. This will also show that these benefits can be a reality at your community. Lightness has the potential to expand to support community building in other sites, and promote democratic access to energy overall.

Implement
technological solutions

Implement technological solutions

through low cost, customizable, user-friendly and secure Hardware and Software solutions that count with:
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Data analytics capabilities
  • Blockchain
  • Smart Contracts
  • Optimization
  • Model-predictive control
  • Gaming services

These solutions would be able to operate in any CEC facilitating collective self-production/consumption and community trading of energy, among others.

Assess environmental, social and economic impact

Assess environmental, social and economic impact

Through a user-friendly “Digital Twin” assessment tool, Lightness will account for techno-economic, social, legal, and environmental indicators to evaluate CECs and their full potential.

Based on the Intelligent Communities Lifecycle (ICL) software of IES, Lightness will analyze energy use in communities from multiple angles and at large scale. This allows a complete impact assessment for designing and implementing a CEC.

Develop guidelines and
political roadmaps

Develop guidelines and
political roadmaps

Lightness will develop policy recommendations for the implementation of CECs at local and national level in the pilot cases, and at EU level. This objective places special attention to the regulation of flexibility* in the market and the accessibility to the different actors in the energy value chain. This will support governments and energy agencies in driving the energy transition while also empowering consumers via the CECs.

* Flexibility is the ability of a power system to maintain continuous service in the face of rapid and large swings in supply or demand.

Create new partnerships
and business models

Create new partnerships and business models

To make CECs the new normal in Europe, Lightness will innovative in type of partnerships, business models, and financing mechanisms across different stakeholders and contexts. These innovations will ensure that CECs are sustainable beyond the life of the project. We will pay particular attention to scalability and replicability, not only in the EU but beyond, through the Troya environment association in Turkey and Tragsatec in America and Africa.

Spread the word about
this new energy culture

Spread the word about
this new energy culture

There are many benefits of creating Citizen Energy Communities and are worthy of spreading. Lightness will produce a national engagement plan for each pilot site including participatory processes, gamification, professional workshops, etc.

The objective is to support the various stakeholders including residential consumers, managers/occupants in tertiary buildings, professionals in the smart grid sector, ESCOs, Aggregators, Utilities, DSOs, etc., in their efforts to become engaged in the creation and management of the CECs.

The legacy of the project will consist of concrete achievements in five pilots across Europe and a set of learnings on the development framework for emerging Citizen Energy Communities.

Timeline

Lightness project timeline

LEGEND

Timeline legend

We are a wide network across Europe

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