The EMPOWER project is investigating the concept of a regional market and associated services to manage the exchange of energy, communication and monetary credit assignment.
The project aims to encourage and enable the active participation of citizens that consume and produce energy in the electrical system. It is based on the insight that a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and an increase of energy efficiency require radical changes in the way we produce and consume energy.
The main objective of EMPOWER is to create of local electrical markets to promote the prosumer role in smart grids. Aiming to develop and verify a local market place and innovative business models, including operational methods, the project encourages micro-generation and the active participation of prosumers to exploit the flexibility created for the benefit of all connected to the local grid.
By providing incentives for all players, EMPOWER exploits the flexibility the electricity distribution net offers to its users. The project enables the establishment and operation of local energy cooperatives that can manage renewable energy resources and serve members, while operating in an open, competitive market environment. It puts coordinated prosumers into the centre of future local power market design.
This solution helps create a shared engagement of local supply and therefore reduces the need of traditional distribution system operators (DSOs) to invest in centralised sourcing.
The project also proposes a definition of a new role in the local electricity market, the smart energy service provider (SESP), with the tasks to handle the operation of the market place and the coordination between the participants, and to offer services to the market participants.