Peer-to-peer (P2P) energy trading and energy communities have garnered much attention over in recent years due to increasing investments in local energy generation and storage assets. Much research has been performed on the mechanisms and methodologies behind their implementation and realisation. However, the efficiency to be gained from P2P trading, and the structure of local energy markets raise many important challenges. To analyse the efficiency of P2P energy markets, in this work, we consider two different popular approaches to peer-to-peer trading: centralised (through a central market maker/clearing entity) vs. fully decentralised (P2P), and explore the comparative economic benefits of these models. We focus on the metric of Gains from Trade (GT), given optimal P2P trading schedule computed by a schedule optimiser. In both local market models, benefits from trading are realised mainly due to the diversity in consumption behaviour and renewable energy generation between prosumers in an energy community. Both market models will lead to the most promising P2P contracts (the ones with the highest Gains from Trade) to be established first. Yet, we find diversity decreases quickly as more peer-to-peer energy contracts are established and more prosumers join the market, leading to significantly diminishing returns. In this work, we aim to quantify this effect using real-world data from two large-scale smart energy trials in the UK, i.e. the Low Carbon London project and the Thames Valley Vision project. Our experimental study shows that, for both market models, only a small number of P2P contracts i.e. less than 10% of the possible P2P contracts are required to achieve the majority of the maximal potential Gains from Trade. Similarly, only a fraction of prosumers are required to participate in energy trading to realise significant GT; namely we found that 60% of the maximal GT can be realised with only 30% of prosumers’ participation, with the percentage of maximal GT reaching 80% when participation increases to 50% of prosumers. Finally, we study the effect that diversity in consumption profiles has on overall trading potential and dynamics in an energy community. We show that in a community with a DF(load diversity factor) 1, 80% of potential maximal GT can be achieved by 10% of prosumers engaging in P2P trading, while in a community with DF 1.5, it is beneficial for 40% of the prosumers to trade.

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Applied Energy
Testing and Evaluating Sophisticated information and communication Technologies for enaBling scalablE smart griD Deployment
Intelligent and autonomous systems

Zhang, Y., Robu, V., Cremers, S., Norbu, S., Couraud, B., Andoni, M., … H. Vincent Poor. (2024). Modelling the formation of peer-to-peer trading coalitions and prosumer participation incentives in transactive energy communities. Applied Energy, 355, 122173:1–122173:19.