LCA driven solar compensation mechanism for Renewable Energy Communities: the Italian case
Renewable energy communities are multi-users energy systems that are expected to become popular in all countries, including Italy. This paper discusses environmental-driven solar compensation mechanisms, specifically designed for energy communities. Such mechanisms consider the adoption of Distributed Energy Resources by the communities and reflect their overall life cycle environmental benefit. Notably, an innovative three-steps iterative methodology is adopted to design new feed-in tariffs including: (i) the optimal economic sizing of solar technologies, (ii) the life cycle assessment and (iii) the evaluation of a solar compensation mechanism. In the last step, the emissions avoided by communities are converted into economic solar compensation mechanisms (via feed-in tariffs) using the current value of carbon taxes. After the general methodology description, the proposed approach is applied to a specific Italian case study. In case carbon taxes are set to the current value, namely 15.4 EUR/tonCO2eq, the yearly national emissions are mitigated by the adoption of the proposed solar compensation from 121.1 MtonCO2eq/yr to 108.2 MtonCO2eq/yr. Differently, if taxes are increased to 20 EUR/tonCO2eq, the emissions are reduced to 84.3 MtonCO2eq/yr; in case carbon taxes are extended over this value, the grid gets saturated by communities electricity and the additional environmental advantages are negligible.