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Towards Sustainable Energy Communities: A Case Study of Two Swedish Pilot Projects

Energy communities (Energigemenskaper) offer a promising solution to address today’s energy challenges. This project, in collaboration with RISE and other eight partners, comprehensively explores energy communities within technical, environmental, economic and social contexts. Two pilot districts are studied, showcasing new construction buildings in Örebro and existing buildings in Stockholm. The project aims to develop guidelines involving new technologies, services, business models, and policies, with the objective to reduce power peak demand and increase energy savings. This project locates Sweden as an innovative energy leader by promoting collaborative social transformation and leading local communities to pursue common goals such as reducing energy costs and achieving self-sufficiency.

Link to RISE website


The 2015 Paris Agreement's goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C drives Sweden's energy policy, targeting zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 and freedom from fossil fuels by 2040 [1]. Renewable energy integration, energy efficiency, and clean transportation are key strategies. In this context, energy communities (ECs) can become core actors in the energy transition plan, by promoting local electricity generation, consumption, and sharing. Through the Clean energy for all Europeans package, adopted in 2019, the EU introduced the concept of ECs in its legislation [2]. More specifically, the directive enables active consumer participation through ECs in all electricity markets, either by generating, consuming, sharing or selling electricity, or by providing flexibility services through demand-response and storage.

This new concept is aimed to be implemented in the neighborhood of Hammarby Sjöstad  in central Stockholm, and in the newly built area of Tamarinden  in the Örebro municipality, where citizen-driven initiatives are actively making use of policy incentives to install their own distributed energy technologies such as rooftop photovoltaic (PV) systems and energy storage (ES). These two pilot programs will provide guidelines for ECs planning, design, and execution.


The journey toward establishing a resilient, resource-efficient, and renewable energy system encounters numerous challenges. Firstly, the electricity grid must adapt to accommodate an increasingly share of variable renewable power production. Secondly, urban areas are witnessing a surge in energy and power consumption that has resulted in capacity shortages, both in terms of transmission and distribution networks, within several Swedish cities. For instance, in Stockholm, this situation is anticipated to become particularly strained from 2023 onwards, driven by increasing electricity demand stemming from subway expansions, electrification of public transportation, new heat pump installations and private electric vehicle charging. On the other hand, the transformation of the energy system arouses great commitment from municipalities and citizens, expressing a growing interest in renewable and self-produced electricity.

Empowering local ECs to produce, consume, store and sell renewable energy will help advance energy efficiency and support the use of renewable energy. ECs can also act as aggregators, enhancing grid flexibility and system stability. Additionally, the development of sustainable neighborhoods can boost the appeal of cities and foster a stronger sense of identity among their residents.

The project aims to demonstrate concrete solutions for system integration, operation, and aggregation, encompassing aspects like energy efficiency, local solar energy production, low-temperature district heating networks, energy storage and electrification of the transport sector. The results will help to bridge the gap in delivering business plans for microgrids and flexibility markets, potentially establishing Sweden as an innovative energy services leader.

Aim and Objective:

The overall objective of this research project is to estimate the feasibility of the implementation and deployment of ECs in Sweden. The specific aims are to:

  • Promote local energy systems shifting from a conventional centralized system into a more flexible and resilient decentralized network.
  • Integrate and optimize the use of different energy production technologies, storage systems, and electromobility options to support decarbonization and energy savings.
  • Establish new ways to stimulate cooperation between different actors in order to maximize societal benefits.
  • Enable the replicability of the technical solutions and business models for different areas and countries, based on local resources and policies.

Funded by:Swedish Energy Agency.

Project partners: RISE, Ellevio, E.ON, ElectriCity, Örebro municipality, ÖrebroBostäder, Enstar, KTC, Siemens.

Timeframe: 2020 - 2024


Jagruti Ramsing Thakur
Jagruti Ramsing Thakur assistant professor Profile


[1] Government Office of Sweden, Ministry of the Environment, Sweden’s climate policy framework. [Online]. Available:

[2] Directorate-General for Energy (European Commission), Clean energy for all Europeans. LU: Publications Office of the European Union, 2019. [Online]. Available:

[3] European Parliament, Council of the EU. Directive on common rules for the internal market for electricity, 2019. [Online]. Available: https://eur-lex.europa. eu/legal-conte nt/EN/ TXT/PDF/?uri=C ELE X:32019L0944 &from=EN

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