A small community is pushing the agenda for a greener future

Monday 25 Jun 18


Pierre Pinson
Adjunct Professor
DTU Management


Jeanette Irene Nielsen
Senior Executive Officer
+45 93 51 16 04

Asking the community..

energy collective

Energy Collective

Period: 2017-2020

Partners: DTU Elektro, WEOU, AAU, De Frie Energiselskaber, RMIT, UCD, University of Berkeley

In a small community close to Roskilde called Svalin 20 families have decided to live a greener life. All houses and infrastructure in Svalin have been designed to accommodate solar panels, geothermic heat pumps as well as electric vehicle.

On a yearly basis the community produces more renewable energy than the inhabitants consume which makes them energy positive. However all surplus energy from the individual household production is transferred to the grid, in accordance to the current Danish regulations. This means that on a very sunny day the households will not be able to use all the sustainable energy produced while on more cloudy days where productions from sun is less the households will have to buy electricity from the grid like everyone else.

These are among the reasons for designing the Energy Collective project based on the Svalin Community. The project investigates consumer-centric electricity markets in various forms (e.g. community-based, peer-to-peer), with the ultimate goal to rethink the way we produce, consume and exchange electric energy. Svalin’s aim is to be the first demonstration site in Denmark of a community sharing electric energy in a truly flexible and consumer-centric manner.

"We want to challenge the established rules and see this as a first step towards a popular movement for a sharing economy within the power sector"
Pierre Pinson, Professor, CEE, DTU Elektro

The intensions are to collectively consume 100% renewable and local energy by sharing their renewable energy generation among the community, thus avoiding the traditional intermediary parties.

“Having this setup will provide incentives for consumers to adapt to the availability of local renewable power generation,” says Pierre Pinson, Project Coordinator and Professor at DTU. “We want to challenge the established rules and see this as a first step towards a popular movement for a sharing economy within the power sector”, Pierre continues.

On 1 June 2018 the Energy Collective project had its first public event which took place in Svalin. Among the presenters were DTU Elektro, WeOU.org, Dansk Energi, University of Aalborg and DAISEEE. Besides discussing how energy production can be shared with neighbors, friends and family or how energy can be used as a currency there was also special attention on technology enablers and regulator challenges which triggered a lively debate among participants.

The attendees got the opportunity to visit and experience the facilities on site including the outdoor lighting system, the color of which is a direct function of the CO2 emission level of the electric energy consumed in Denmark. Svalin households can use that information to decide when the best time to consume electricity is, i.e. times when the CO2 emissions are low. In parallel other demonstrations focused on real-time data measurements on energy import/export for various houses, common house and the community as a whole and on a mobile application for charging an EV using the DTU Charger Post (with different features for a Svalin resident and non-resident).