Global Observatory P2P

Global Observatory on Peer-to-Peer, Community Self-Consumption and Transactive Energy Models (GO-P2P)

Why is GO-P2P important for smart local energy systems?

The Global Observatory on Peer-to-Peer, Community Self-Consumption and Transactive Energy Models (GO-P2P) is an international platform aiming to provide the evidence needed by policymakers, industry and non-profits to evaluate the risks and benefits of these types of smart local energy system (SLES) models in their own countries. 

Peer-to-peer energy (P2P) models are recognised by policymakers as having the potential to deliver environmental and social benefits by enabling energy consumers to sell or donate self-generated renewable energy to other consumers. Such models also frequently use emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things and blockchain databases.

These models have the potential to benefit consumers and communities by providing access to cheaper and more sustainable energy. However, due to their decentralised nature, they could also have far-reaching impacts on cybersecurity, grid reliance and consumer wellbeing.

What are the EnergyREV team doing in this area?

EnergyREV is working within the wider GO-P2P project of over 200 international experts to exchange best practices around the design of these P2P models. Our focus is on grid integration, technology, market design, economic/social value and regulatory/policy issues. From this viewpoint we will study pilots of local and community energy trading in countries including Australia, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and United States.

How is EnergyREV exploring these issues?

The lessons learned from these pilots will form the basis of an international comparative analysis, aiming to provide an assessment of the key factors enabling or inhibiting the rollout of P2P models across the world. The comparative analysis carried out by GO-P2P will also lead to the formulation of a Readiness Index, helping stakeholders to assess a country’s readiness for P2P energy models.

What are the emerging insights?

Some of our emerging insights so far include:

  • Local energy trading systems (including P2P energy trading, transactive energy, community/collective self-consumption models) can be implemented in many ways and deliver many different social, environmental, and energy system benefits. Policy makers and regulators should set clear outcome priorities to guide design of such systems.
  • Local energy trading systems can reduce grid constraints and align demand to renewable supply thus helping the transition to a Net Zero future.
  • Local energy trading is likely to work better under multiple supplier models (i.e. where one consumer can have both a local and a national supplier). ​
  • SLES participants, including consumers and prosumers, need to be recognised as market actors in the energy regulatory framework for these models to be more widely adopted.
  • The main financial benefit for sellers in these markets is to sell energy above the feed-in-tariff rate set by the government, while for buyers it is to purchase energy below the retail market rate. The structure and charging of network and system operator fees on SLES participants strongly impacts on the financial incentive to participate. The impact on SLES uptake should be considered by regulators when reviewing these.
  • These systems require high levels of automation of generation, storage and demand in consumers’ homes. Making such system cybersecure by design is therefore important in reducing risks to participants and the distribution grid.
  • The large amount of granular data collected by smart devices needed to run SLES, particularly for energy trading or sharing activities, requires careful attention to data protection issues. Local (on-device) processing of data can minimise data disclosure risks.
  • Distributed SLES models will inevitably bring about a shift in roles. Consumers providing services, such as selling self-produced renewable energy, will also become suppliers. Distribution System Operators will play an important role in system management and operation. The areas of responsibility and liability will need to be re-drawn by regulators.

For more information on the Observatory visit:   

EnergyREV team

Theme Lead: David Shipworth

Researcher: Alexandra Schneiders