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Annex 83 Publications
Factsheet: Positive Energy Districts
A techno-economic analysis of an optimal self-sufficient district
Author(s): Ari Laitinen, Oscar Lindholm, Ala Hasan, Francesco Reda, Åsa Hedman
Many cities and districts have announced that their ultimate goal is to be energy self-sufficient, but there are many technical and economic challenges that are required to be studied. The aim of this study is to find cost- optimal technical solutions for districts with high energy self-sufficiency rates that can cover their electricity demand. Two methods are applied, a rule-based method and an optimization method, to find the renewable energy system capacities for local centralized wind power, solar photovoltaic, battery, heat storage and heat pump in a district with a minimum life cycle cost. The Kalasatama district in Helsinki-Finland, is taken as a case study. The results show that the full energy self-sufficiency target requires very high investments in the renewable energy systems. For the studied case, reducing the self-sufficiency rate to 76% can bring down the life cycle cost by 66% and achieve a net-zero annual energy balance. It is economically and technically more feasible to aim achieving Positive Energy District or Net-Zero Energy District instead of full energy self-sufficiency. Based on the obtained results, the main investment should be made in wind power, due to its higher utilization rate around the year compared to solar photovoltaic. Investments in the expensive centralized battery storage sharply drops when the self-sufficiency rate is reduced from 100%. It is revealed that due to the high population density and limited availability of renewables, the physical boundary of a district may not fit the required renewable energy installations if high self-sufficiency is targeted. This will frequently lead to expanding the district boundary towards a virtual balancing boundary.
IEA EBC Annex83 Positive Energy Districts
Author(s): Åsa Hedman, Hassam Ur Rehman, et al.
At a global level, the need for energy efficiency and an increased share of renewable energy sources is evident, as is the crucial role of cities due to the rapid urbanization rate. As a consequence of this, the research work related to Positive Energy Districts (PED) has accelerated in recent years. A common shared definition, as well as technological approaches or methodological issues related to PEDs are still unclear in this development and a global scientific discussion is needed. The International Energy Agency’s Energy in Buildings and Communities Programme (IEA EBC) Annex 83 is the main platform for this international scientific debate and research. This paper describes the challenges of PEDs and the issues that are open for discussions and how the Annex 83 is planned and organized to facilitate this and to actively steer the development of PEDs major leaps forward. The main topics of discussion in the PED context are the role and importance of definitions of PEDs, virtual and geographical boundaries in PEDs, the role of different stakeholders, evaluation approaches, and the learnings of realized PED projects.