Network congestion is a big problem - one that we will face for some time to come. There are plenty of solutions, and energy sharing is one of them. We dove in and talk you all the way through in this article.

The energy transition is in full swing and both citizens and businesses are increasingly taking matters into their own hands. They play an active role in how we produce, use and share energy. This shift is getting a lot of support from Europe, which is actively encouraging citizens and business to share energy.

The idea behind this is simple and impactful: if you produce more green energy than you need, say with your solar panels, why not share it with others who need it? This concept is being increasingly embraced and was given an official place in Europe’s plans for a new energy market, known as theReform of the Energy Market Design, or EMD for short. This document defines energy sharing as a separate activity that needs specific attention within the legislation of each EU country.

In the Netherlands, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK) takes on this task. They are currently figuring out how energy sharing should work within our national legislation in a Memorandum of Amendment for the Energy Act. This is an important step: it brings energy sharing from just a nice idea to everyday reality. The goal? Giving everyone in the Netherlands the opportunity to share energy with each other in a smart and sustainable way, working together to create a greener future.

These movements within European and Dutch legislation not only give energy sharing a legal basis, but also create opportunities and guidelines for how we can practically implement it. This ensures that everyone who wants to participate, from large companies to ordinary citizens, knows how to contribute to a more sustainable energy grid in a fair and effective way.

What is energy sharing?

Energy sharing is really nothing more than the exchange of excess energy production from one party to the consumption of another. This can range from solar power generated on a clear afternoon, to wind power during a particularly windy day. What is unique about this concept is that it not only involves the transfer of energy, but also balances production and consumption in a way that benefits everyone.

The benefits of energy sharing

Energy sharing provides financial benefits for businesses, but that’s not all. It strengthens the connection between consumers and businesses, reduces pressure on the power grid and helps in the energy transition.

Consumer empowerment

By sharing energy, you empower your business to really make a difference for your customers. Imagine being able to pass excess energy, which would otherwise go unused, directly to those who need it. This makes your customers less dependent on the vagaries of the energy market and less vulnerable to spikes in energy prices.

This is not only a smart move for your business; it also builds a stronger relationship with your customers. They see that you are not just out for profit, but that you really care about them and the community. It strengthens your relationship and polishes your image to that of a company at the forefront of social responsibility. Sharing energy is not only good for the planet and your wallet, but it also makes you a hero in the eyes of your customers.

Reduction of grid load

In addition, energy sharing relieves pressure on our overburdened power grid. When you and your neighbors or fellow companies in the same region share the energy you generate, it cuts down on the need to transport energy long distances. This means less load on the grid and less energy lost along the way. By sharing energy, you boost the use of green energy such as solar and wind. In this way, you are not only smartly capitalizing on the direct benefit to your business, but you are also actively engaged in greening our energy supply. This makes your company a key player in the transition to a more sustainable world.

Local connection

Your contribution to energy sharing initiatives places you at the heart of local development, making your company a key player in making your area greener and more energy efficient. This not only strengthens the local economy but also encourages a concerted effort for energy transition. The beauty is that your actions reach beyond your company; they generate broader awareness and support for sustainability. You become a catalyst for change, showing how individual efforts can coalesce into a powerful wave of positive impact.

Forms of energy sharing

There are a number of forms to share energy:

  • Within energy communities: This model of energy sharing takes place within cooperatives or communities where members collectively invest in energy production resources, such as solar panels on a shared roof. The energy produced is distributed among themselves, with surpluses being delivered to the community and shortages being made up from the same pool. This not only promotes sustainable energy use within the community, but also strengthens social cohesion through shared goals and responsibilities.
  • Between active consumers: In this model, individual companies or households, which do not necessarily belong to the same physical community, share their excess energy with each other. This requires more sophisticated administrative handling, with digital platforms and smart networks playing a role in matching supply and demand over longer distances.

Implementation concerns

  • Cost: The initial investment in production equipment and the set-up of an energy sharing system can be significant. In addition, there are operational costs associated with managing the energy exchange. It is important that these costs are shared fairly among participants and that the long-term benefits, such as lower energy costs and reduced grid load, are clearly communicated.
  • Taxes: The tax treatment of shared energy can be complex, especially when it comes to selling excess energy to the grid or to third parties. It is important to have clear guidelines on how energy taxes and VAT are levied on shared energy to ensure compliance and avoid unforeseen tax burdens on participants.
  • Simplicity of application: To ensure wide adoption, the energy sharing system must be user-friendly. For example, there should be simple procedures for notification, tracking energy production and consumption, and offsetting energy surpluses and deficits. Technological solutions – such as energy management software – play an important role here.

Is energy sharing the future?

The future of energy sharing looks promising, with the potential to fundamentally transform the energy market and approaches to network congestion. More and more businesses and consumers are becoming aware of the benefits, so we expect the adoption of energy sharing to increase. And that’s good news: it leads to a more sustainable, efficient and connected energy supply.

Impact on the energy market

Energy sharing can lead to a more decentralized and democratic energy market, where end users are not only consumers, but also producers (prosumers) who actively contribute to the energy grid. This can reduce dependence on traditional energy suppliers and lead to more competitive prices and innovative energy services.

In conclusion

As a business owner, you face unique challenges, but also unique opportunities, especially when it comes to energy management and sustainability. Energy Sharing offers you the opportunity not only to address your energy challenges, but also to become a pioneer in the transition to a greener future. Energy sharing offers a pragmatic solution to network congestion, while contributing to strengthening local economies and building a sustainable community.By embracing energy sharing, you can reduce operational costs, meet your sustainability goals and make a significant contribution to both the environment and society.

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