The pressing necessity to address climate change calls for the reduction in carbon emissions in the energy sector. Renewable energy communities (RECs) provide environmental, financial, and societal advantages that facilitate the shift towards sustainable energy sources. This paper examines the development of RECs in Italy through a case study in the Municipality of Assisi, and investigates the pivotal role played by public administrations as catalysts in the formation of RECs. Despite facing unique challenges and constraints, Assisi leverages RECs and the proactive approach of the local government to overcome barriers hindering the implementation of renewable energy projects. A municipality-led REC of a total power of 2 MWp by 2030, using clusters of prosumers and consumers and including energy-intensive municipal facilities, is investigated. Through rigorous simulations and the resulting shared energy, the study conducts a comprehensive analysis encompassing technical, energy, and economic aspects. The results, including relevant energy indices, are presented and various scenarios are discussed as the energy shared varies. Finally, sensitivity analyses show that the profitability strongly depends on the cost of energy, the remuneration from the sale, and the value of the incentive earned on the shared energy: the simple payback time ranges from 8 to 14 years and NPV varies from EUR 0.8 to 4.5 M.
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