The creation of energy communities and cooperatives throughout Europe opens the door to the possibility of more effective democratic control over the destination of the energy, so it satisfies basic human needs. Knowledge of rooftop photovoltaic potential and the potential for electricity self-consumption provides important keys to facilitate the creation of new energy communities. The objective is to identify rooftops with high photovoltaic potential, as well as surrounding buildings that can consume the electricity generated.

About the methodology to calculate the PV rooftop potential and electricity self-consumption level

There are different methods to estimate the rooftop PV potential, and the Geographic-Information System (GIS)-methods are the most accurate and replicable, but as a drawback, they are also computer resource-intensive. Open source software has being used. The input data needed are the buildings, the height maps of the study region (LiDAR maps, Laser Imaging Detection and Ranging), and the electricity consumption. A key question of the methodology is to remove the low PV potential rooftops, by choosing an appropiate parameter from an economic or an energy viewpoint. This methodology has adopted the energy viewpoint.

In a premilinary way, the methodology has been applied in a neighborhood in Bilbao (Basque Country). Buildings have been classified according to their suitability to be part of an energy community and share the electricity generated from a PV system placed in the neighborhood (highly suitable in red).

This research has been presented at the ESEE 2022 Conference Pisa: