Decentralized energy system offer fast and low-risk way to test energy transition pathways at local scale. The technology variety and increased role of user preferences call for a systematic design process in close collaboration with prosumers. We propose a novel methodology to design local energy systems that are technically robust and socially supported – the Participatory Approach to Community Energy Design. The methodology is applied to a neighborhood in the Netherlands. Among four alternative designs, a biogas-fueled and a smart grid systems consistently outperformed the alternatives, regardless of changing the user preferences.
Keywords community energy, decarbonization, renewable generation, participatory approach, sustainable energy systems