From research to practice
Interview Andreas Schneemann, Innovation laboratory act4energy, Stegersbach


The act4energy innovation laboratory in Stegersbach has been researching and testing innovative solutions and concepts for regional, renewable energy systems for years. Is it also a pioneer in the field of renewable energy communities?
In my view, there is huge potential to developing energy communities in connection with regional renewable energy systems. That’s why we dealt with the topic at a very early stage. With our R&D projects and our initiative1 for Austria’s independent energy communities, we do also see ourselves as pioneers and trailblazers in this area.
How can the findings from research and pilot projects be put to practice on a large scale?
I think it is essential to focus on market-relevant findings and implementable innovations from the start of the research activities. We are able to transfer the developments from research and technology into practice because already supports a large number of energy communities and can address all the relevant stakeholders. 
What are some of the practical lessons have you learned? What are the challenges for renewable energy communities?
Apart from all the information that has to be submitted in advance, the organisational process (preparing the contract, finding participants and onboarding them, managing members, participating in the market, setting tariffs, managing data, billing, etc.) is one of the biggest barriers for individuals. We are trying to remedy this with In addition, despite of the difficult initial situation that renewable energy communities are faced with due to the market conditions, we need to find a way to not simply reduce the advantages of energy communities to their economic aspect.
What other further support is needed?
Support is definitely needed in raising awareness. Energy communities can do much more than just generate savings. In addition to the achievable ecological effects, they also strengthen the social community structure.  For me, energy communities are even infrastructure projects! Because energy communities will not unfold their true potential until we create new infrastructures (flexibilities & load shifting) so we can the use regionally generated energy in regional grid structures. is an initiative of Energie Kompass GmbH. With a strong focus on the intelligent use of renewable energies, Energie Kompass GmbH, headquartered in Stegersbach in Southern Burgenland (founded in 2013 by Andreas Schneemann), develops sustainable, cross-sector energy solutions for companies, municipalities and private customers. On team4energy, Energie Kompass GmbH offers a comprehensive service for renewable energy communities. In addition to consulting and engineering services, the platform also offers fully automated, digital billing for energy communities.