Sara Torabi Moghadam, Maria Valentina Di Nicoli, Santiago Manzo, Patrizia Lombardi
Innovations in technical, financial, and social areas are crucial prerequisites for an effective and sustainable energy transition. In this context, the construction of a new energy structure and the motivation of the consumer towards a change in their consumption behaviours to balance demand with a volatile energy supply are important issues. At the same time, Consumer Stock Ownership Plans (CSOPs) in renewable energies sources (RESs) have proven to be an essential cornerstone in the overall success of energy transition. Indeed, when consumers acquire ownership in RES, they become prosumers, participating in the phase of production and distribution of energy. Prosumers provide benefits by (1) generating a part of the energy they consume, (2) reducing their overall expenditure for energy, and (3) receiving a second source of income from the sale of excess production. Supporting Consumer Co-Ownership in Renewable Energies (SCORE) is an ongoing Horizon 2020 project with the aim of overcoming the usage of energy from fossil sources in favour of RES, promoting the creation of energy communities (EC) and facilitating co-ownership of renewable energies (RE) for consumers. SCORE hereby particularly emphasises the inclusion of women, low-income households, and vulnerable groups affected by fuel poverty that are as a rule excluded from RE investments. In this framework, the main goal of the present study is to illustrate the general procedure and process of EC creation. In particular, this paper focuses on the description of the methodological approach in implementing the CSOP model which consists of three main phases: the identification and description of selected buildings (preparation phase), the preliminary and feasibility analysis phase, and finally the phase of target group involvement. SCORE first started in three pilot regions in Italy, Czech Republic, and Poland, and later, with the aim of extending the methodology, in various other cities across Europe. In this study, Italian pilot study sites were chosen as a case study to develop and test the methodology.