Mobilisation and Replication (MoRe) model. Proposal of a generic architecture of the cVPP upscaling model: Report for Interreg NWE

A.J. Wieczorek, L.F.M. van Summeren, G.P.J. Verbong, S.C. Breukers, R.M. Mourik

Research output: Book/ReportReportAcademic


Local power generation by renewable sources is increasing but to have real impact on radical decarbonisation of energy sector, changes are needed to unlock the potential of prosumer. A virtual power plant (VPP) is a known innovation. It refers to a cluster of dispersed generator units, controllable loads and storage systems, aggregated to operate as a unique power plant. It enables integration of renewables and flexibility in demand in energy markets. There are several VPP designs available esp. in Germany. The concept has been developed by various (large) organisations (Siemens, E-on) but its implementation remained limited due to top-down focus on technical parameters. Community-based version of a VPP is bottom-up and focusses on sustainability issues. By organising a form of collective power, that is increasing the level of participation and control of the local community, the cVPP aims at taking the development of the VPP a step further. The concept offers a community the opportunity to provide its energy needs with small-scale, distributed low-carbon technologies with participation from individual consumers, local energy companies or SMEs. It can empower prosumers and contribute to democratisation of energy systems. This process can spur awareness and public engagement in the energy transition. By doing so, it can facilitate upscaling of low-carbon energy community-driven initiatives that, so far, missed critical mass to trigger the energy transition.
In this paper we conceptualise the community-based Virtual Power Plant (cVPP), as an organisational innovation that has the potential to reconfigure (and thereby significantly boost) renewable energy production and distribution at a local level. We also give an overview of the (c)VPP initiatives in the selected NW European countries. Realisation of the cVPP potential however is determined by a myriad of place-based, internal and external factors. Internal determinants include e.g. organisational capabilities of the specific communities, their goals, number and characteristics of the buildings in a community, potential local impacts, or availability of subsidy schemes. External factors concern all elements of existing energy system (stakeholders, technologies, regulations, incentive schemes), which might not be conducive to the implementation of the cVPP. To turn the cVPP potential into action, we propose a Mobilisation and Replication (MoRe) model as a framework that can guide the processes of organisation and propagation of the cVPP innovation in diverse territories. The generic architecture of the model, which we report on in this speed talk, is developed based on the theoretical insights from the transition (Elzen et al., 2012, Smith, 2007, Smith and Raven, 2012; Smith et al., 2014), business (Jonker, 2014, 2015) and participatory (Breukers et al., 2016) literature. At the later stage, the generic architecture will be enriched with practical lessons from factual implementation of three cVPPs in diverse NW-European contexts of Belgium, Ireland and The Netherlands, and tested by further nine replication communities in the three countries. In its essence, the model accounts for local preferences and aims, and provides guidance to communities on how to address the barriers to cVPP implementation in their areas. It consists of a set of strategies, templates, guidelines and tools such as: technical algorithm, economically and socially robust business model, sustainable financial management plan, institutional framework and participatory social plan for the citizens. The major characteristics of the model is its generic characteristics complemented with sensitivity to a variety of contexts, in which the novel cVPP approach is introduced and tested.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherTechnische Universiteit Eindhoven
Commissioning bodyInterreg NWE
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2018


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