As a partner of the PROMOTER Interreg Europe project, the South Transdanubia Regional Innovation Agency (STRIA) organized its first stakeholder meeting on 10 October 2023. At the consultation held online, energy communities based on bottom-up the involvement and cooperation of prosumers that supply local actors, including the local transport, were also discussed.
The establishment and operation of energy communities in Hungary began earlier than the lawmaking and the relevant domestic legal regulations. STRIA is a consortium partner of one of the Hungarian energy communities. Thus, it was said at the meeting that the energy community in Erzsébetváros (Budapest, District VII) has been trying to be established since April 2021. The implementation, which takes place with the coordination of the district municipality, was hindered from several points of view. Since the project is a pilot, i.e. an experimental action, it also aims to help transform the legislative environment. In addition to the many organizational transformations surrounding the project, the cooperation with the line ministry was also difficult.
In Erzsébetváros, the solar panels will be installed on three municipally-owned buildings: the Klauzál square market, the mayor’s office, and a municipally-owned condominium building. STRIA carried out/is carrying out the software development of the balance circle of the energy community and the analysis of the legal environment. The municipality and its own companies (as additional partners of the project) deal with procurement. These investments are prepared, and at the same time, they are waiting for a source of financing. Due to the significant delay, the consortium also submitted a request for an extension of the project, which is awaiting a favorable assessment.
The domestic experimental energy community projects held joint discussions at the beginning, but they did not receive any meaningful feedback on the questions they raised regarding their successful implementation. The operation of the Zéró Carbon Center (Budapest University of Technology and Economics – https://zkk.bme.hu/ ), which supports the consultations, also ended with the exhaustion of the grant fund. Basically, however, the Ministry of Energy is responsible for solving the questions and problems that have arisen.
It was also mentioned at the meeting that electric car chargers will also be installed in Erzsébetváros as part of the pilot project. In this specific case, the green energy produced would be used to charge electric vehicles.
As for the tasks of the PROMOTER project this year, STRIA is collecting Good Practices in relation to energy communities and local green (electric) mobility until the end of 2023. The identified good and possibly bad solutions will be presented and discussed at the next stakeholder meeting due at the beginning of 2024.
The PROMOTER project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund and Hungary within the Interreg Europe Program.