Annex 83 on Positive Energy Districts has started its preparation phase in November of 2019. The basic principle of Positive Energy Districts (PEDs) is to create an area within the city boundaries, capable of generating more energy than consumed and agile/flexible enough to respond to the variation of the energy market because a PED should not only aim to achieving an annual surplus of net energy. Rather, it should also support minimizing the impact on the connected centralized energy networks by offering options for increasing onsite load-matching and self-consumption, technologies for short and long term storages, and providing energy flexibility with smart control. PEDs can include all types of buildings present in the city environment and they are not isolated from the energy grid. In the research community PED is a rising concept to shape cities into carbon neutral communities in the near future. Reaching the goal of a PED requires firstly improving energy efficiency, secondly cascading local energy flows by making use of any surpluses, and thirdly using low-carbon energy production to cover the remaining energy consumption. Smart control and energy flexibility are needed to match demand with production locally as far as practical, and also to minimize the burdens and maximize the usefulness of PED on the grid at large.
Urban energy infrastructure transition towards carbon neutral communities has an intrinsic multisector dimension. It embraces a synchronized and parallel development of instrumental technologies, public perceptions of building energy technologies, new economic paradigm and tailored business models. Cities can play a unique role as a host, facilitator and incubator of new technologies and solutions. This is needed in order to co-create all-inclusive packages of citizens centric carbon free energy solutions.
The proposed Annex aims to enhance the cooperation on PED development to an international level through the collaboration initiatives of the IEA. The main objectives and scope are defined by the following:
Objective 1. Map the relevant city, industry, research, and governmental (local, regional, national) stakeholders and their needs and roles to inform the work for Objectives 2, 3, 4 and 5. The main purpose is to ensure the involvement of the main stakeholders in the development of relevant definitions and recommendations.
Objective 2. Create a shared in-depth definition of PED by means of multistakeholder governance model. So far international activities have developed generalized definitions that leave many questions open.
Objective 3. Develop the needed information and guidance for implementing the necessary technical solutions (on building, district and infrastructure levels) that can be replicated and gradually scaled up to the city level, giving emphasis to the interaction of flexible assets at the district level and also economic and social issues such as acceptability.
Objective 4. Explore novel technical and service opportunities related to monitoring solutions, big data, data management, smart control and digitalisation technologies as enablers of PEDs.
Objective 5. Develop the needed information and guidance for the planning and implementation of PED’s including both technical planning and urban planning. This includes economic, social and environmental impact assessment for various alternative development paths.