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Factsheet: Positive Energy Districts
Renovation assessment of building districts: Case studies and implications to the positive energy districts definition
Author(s): Francesco Guarino, Roberta Rincione, Carles Mateu, Mercè Teixidó, Luisa F. Cabeza, Maurizio Cellura
As the built environment is among the main contributing sectors to climate change, it is needed to investigate new paradigms to push decarbonization efforts towards the ambitious objectives defined internationally. It is a shared understanding that shifting the perspective from the single building to the district perspective is required to fully take into consideration the complexity of all interactions undergoing within the built environment, thus the concept of Positive Energy District emerged as a district with annual net zero energy import and net zero CO2 emission working towards an annual local surplus production of renewable energy. In this framework, this paper explores the investigation of the potential for achieving the level of Positive Energy District in a group of non-residential buildings in Balaguer, Catalonia, Spain. These buildings, occupying 8,825 m2 in the city centre, require significant refurbishment for improved energy performance. The analysis includes building energy modelling and simulation, renovation studies, several alternative balance calculations, and carbon emissions assessment. The paper also considers mobility and embodied energy and their impact on energy/carbon balances. The results show that Positive Energy Districts carbon and primary energy balances are not met with rooftop PV installations when retrofitting an existing district towards the Positive energy target but further significant PV areas (roughly + 50%) are required to meet merely the use stage balances: negative results are traced when mobility and embodied energy are computed. A formulation alternative to the simple mathematical balance to facilitate the diffusion of Positive Energy District as catalyst of urban decarbonisation could be needed, including context factors and alternative systems (e.g., rating systems).
Assessing the performance of a renewable District Heating System to achieve nearly zero-energy status in renovated university campuses: A case study for Spain
Author(s): Javier M. Rey-Hernandez, Francisco J. Rey-Martínez, Charles Yousif, Dorota Krawczyk
This paper presents the implementation of a biomass-fuelled District Heating System (DHS), as a part of a deep energy renovation exercise to achieve a climate-resilient campus with minimum carbon dioxide emissions. The case study is carried out for the University of Valladolid, an average-sized university in Spain, with a continental weather climate.
Prior to renovation, the different building blocks had a wide-ranging level of fossil fuel consumption for space heating and domestic hot water ranging between 60 and 430 kWh/m2·year. The application of this centralised heating system allows to achieve the minimum threshold for near zero-energy buildings (nZEB) of 100–120 kWh/m2, in accordance with the Spanish Standards. These values correspond to the maximum European indicators for offices in continental weather conditions. Results of this comprehensive study show that 15 out of the 19 buildings reached the nZEB target, due to the proposed strategy. The overall carbon dioxide emissions have dropped by 92.69% as compared to the original fossil-fuel powered boiler, thus bringing carbon dioxide emissions down to 1.57 kgCO2/m2·y.
Therefore, it is shown that deep energy renovation strategies through renewable energy DHS have the potential of achieving nZEB for universities in continental weather conditions.
Energy Flexibility and towards Resilience in New and Old Residential Houses in Cold Climates: A Techno-Economic Analysis
Author(s): Hassam ur Rehman, Ala Hasan
One of the main sectors that contribute to climate change is the buildings sector. While nearly zero-energy buildings are becoming a new norm in many countries in the world, research is advancing towards energy flexibility and resilience to reach energy efficiency and sustainability goals. Combining the energy flexibility and energy resilience concept is rare. In this article, we aim to investigate the effect of energy efficiency in a new single-family building on the energy flexibility potential and resilience characteristics and compare these with those for an old building in the cold climate of Finland. These two objectives are dependent on the buildings’ respective thermal mass. The heat demands of the two buildings are compared. Their technical and economic performance are calculated to compare their flexibility and resilience characteristics. Dynamic simulation software is used to model the buildings. The results show that the old building has better flexibility and higher energy cost savings when including the energy conservation activation strategy. In the old building, savings can be around EUR 400 and flexibility factor can be around 24–52% depending on the activation duration and strategy. The new building, due to higher efficiency, may not provide higher energy cost savings, and the energy conservation activation strategy is better. In the new building, savings can be around EUR 70 and the flexibility factor reaches around 7–14% depending on the activation duration and strategy. The shifting efficiency of the new house is better compared to that of the old house due to its higher storage capacity. For energy resilience, the new building is shown to be better during power outages. The new building can be habitable for 17 h, while the old building can provide the same conditions for 3 h only. Therefore, it is essential to consider both energy flexibility and resilience as this can impact performance during the energy crisis.
Toward Positive Energy Districts by Urban–Industrial Energy Exchange
Author(s): Erfan Shafiee Roudbari, Ramanunni Parakkal Menon, Ivan Kantor, and Ursula Eicker
Editor(s): Tony Castillo-Calzadilla and Carlos Quesada Granja
The concept of Positive Energy Districts (PEDs) has emerged as a promising approach to achieving sustainable urban development. PEDs aim to balance the energy demand and supply within a district while reducing the carbon footprint and promoting renewable energy sources. Urban–Industrial Symbiosis (UIS) is another approach that involves the exchange of energy and resources between industrial processes and nearby urban areas to increase efficiency and reduce waste. Combining the concepts of PED and UIS can create self-sufficient, sustainable, and resilient districts. As the analysis and implementation of such systems are barely studied in North America, this research study was structured to fill the gap by evaluating the financial and environmental advantages of this combination. This study proposes a methodology to design a heat transmission system; then, it is applied to the case of a paper-making factory and a multifunctional heritage building in Montreal, Canada. The results show that the building’s new heating system can generate sufficient heat while emitting near-zero direct emissions. Overall, this paper argues that combining the concepts of PED and UIS can lead to a more sustainable and resilient urban area, and provides a roadmap for achieving this goal.
Territorial acupuncture: benefits and limits of energy communitynetworks
Author(s): Leone F., Nigrelli F., Nocera F., & Costanzo V
Territorial Acupuncture is an approach that proposes a micro-invasive solution for the adaptation of densely populated areas through punctual interventions on a district scale. The aim of this study is to analyse the potential and limitations of this new application in order to understand whether and how to implement Territorial Acupuncture to make it as efficient and effective as possible. By first introducing the basic idea and a brief explanation of how this new approach works, it will then proceed to ananalysis and research phase to identify the benefits and limitations of this new approach. Finally, solutions for its improvement will be proposed. While the application of Territorial Acupuncture might be difficult due to the large number of actors to beinvolved, with small variations and theoretical additions (mostly social and environmental), it would allow energy, socio-economic and environmental dynamics to be changed quickly and optimally. In conclusion, Territorial Acupuncture, with the modifications proposed in this study, would be able to respond to the problems of contemporary urban poles without returning completely different territories even more efficiently and effectively.
Optimal design and operation of distributed electrical generation for Italian positive energy districts with biomass district heating
Author(s): R. Volpe, M. Gonzalez Alriols, N. Martelo Schmalbach, A. Fichera
Publisher: Energy Conversion and Management, vol 267
The active participation of prosumers within the energy generation and distribution stages has revolutionized the energy market favoring the rise of decentralized energy supply configurations and representing a key path for targeting the transition towards sustainable and energy-efficient urban areas. The new Renewable Energy Directive 2018/2001 regulates the constitution of renewable energy communities and promotes the exploitation of solid biomass, biofuels, and biogas for district heating. In addition, energy communities can be considered Positive Energy Districts in case of an annual net-zero energy import and local surplus of renewable production. In alignment with these regulatory frameworks, this research proposes a model for the design of prosumer- centered thermal and electrical grids pointing to a positive balance between production and consumption. In detail, this research contributes to the (i) design of the electrical and thermal distribution grids, (ii) configuration of the optimal exchange scheme for electrical distribution among prosumers, and (iii) valorization of the eventual positive surplus. The model is discussed for a candidate Positive Energy District in a real urban neighborhood in Sicily. Results demonstrate a good rate of interconnections among buildings in the area, especially in a spatial range of 200 m with almost 44 % of distributed electricity production. From the environmental viewpoint, 73 % of CO2 emissions are avoided in comparison with the centralized electrical supply, whilst 55 % of emissions reduction has been estimated from biomass district heating, thus posing favorable conditions for a possible transition of the existing area towards the Positive Energy District model.
Energy and Emission Implications of Electric Vehicles Integration with Nearly and Net Zero Energy Buildings
Author(s): Rehman, H.u.; Diriken, J.; Hasan, A.; Verbeke, S.; Reda, F
Buildings and the mobility sectors are the two sectors that currently utilize large amount of fossil-based energy. The aim of the paper is to, critically analyse the integration of electric vehicles (EV) energy load with the building’s energy load. The qualitative and quantitative methods are used to analyse the nearly/net zero energy buildings and the mobility plans of the Europe along with the challenges of the plans. It is proposed to either include or exclude the EV load within the building’s energy load and follow the emissions calculation path, rather than energy calculation path for buildings to identify the benefits. Two real case studies in a central European climate are used to analysis the energy performance of the building with and without EV load integration and the emissions produced due to their interaction. It is shown that by replacing fossil-fuel cars with EVs within the building boundary, overall emissions can be reduced by 11–35% depending on the case study. However, the energy demand increased by 27–95% when the EV load was added with the building load. Hence, the goal to reach the nearly/net zero energy building target becomes more challenging. Therefore, the emission path can present the benefits of EV and building load integration.
Integrating Plus Energy Buildings and Districts with the EU Energy Community Framework: Regulatory Opportunities, Barriers and Technological Solutions
Author(s): Tuerk, A.; Frieden, D.; Neumann, C.; Latanis, K.; Tsitsanis, A.; Kousouris, S.; Llorente, J.; Heimonen, I.; Reda, F.; Ala-Juusela, M.; Allaerts, K.; Caerts, C.; Schwarzl, T.; Ulbrich, M.; Stosch, A.; Ramschak, T.
The aim of this paper is to assess opportunities the Clean Energy Package provides for Plus Energy Buildings (PEBs) and Plus Energy Districts (PEDs) regarding their economic optimization and market integration, possibly leading to new use cases and revenue streams. At the same time, insights into regulatory limitations at the national level in transposing the set of EU Clean Energy Package provisions are shown. The paper illustrates that the concepts of PEBs and PEDs are in principle compatible with the EU energy community concepts, as they relate to technical characteristics while energy communities provide a legal and regulatory framework for the organization and governance of a community, at the same time providing new regulatory space for specific activities and market integration. To realize new use cases, innovative ICT approaches are needed for a range of actors actively involved in creating and operating energy communities as presented in the paper. The paper discusses a range of different options to realize PEBs and PEDs as energy communities based on the H2020 EXCESS project. It concludes, however, that currently the transposition of the Clean Energy Package by the EU Member States is incomplete and limiting and as a consequence, in the short term, the full potential of PEBs and PEDs cannot be exploited.
Qualitative Assessment Methodology for Positive Energy District Planning Guidelines
Author(s): Hans-Martin Neumann; Sergio Díaz Garayo; Niki Gaitani; Daniele Vettorato; Laura Aelenei; Judith Borsboom; Ghazal Etminan; Anna Kozlowska; Francesco Reda; Jørgen Rose; Pekka Tuominen
Publisher: Springer, Singapore
Positive Energy Districts (PEDs) have recently become an important concept for urban development. However, the number of publications on the transfer of the PED concept to practice is still very limited. This conference paper presents an analysis of the current state of the art in guidelines regarding the planning and implementation of PEDs based on the analysis of 25 PED guidelines reported by anonymous contributors, collaborating in the development of the IEA EBC Annex 83 activities. From this analysis, it becomes clear that nearly all documents including were produced in the period 2018–2020. Most guidelines address local and/or regional governments, focusing predominantly on urban development and planning processes or technological solutions, mostly at the scale level of the district or city, and less often at building block or individual building level. Although some of the documents are journal papers with a very narrow view on specific technological design or implementation aspects, seven guidelines can provide city administrations, urban stakeholders, solution providers and research with overall information on and suggestions for the process of planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluation of PEDs, and a description of the potential impact of PEDs. They result of the analysis will serve as baseline for the future work within IEA Annex 83, in particular for drafting IEA Annex 83 guidelines for the planning and implementation of PEDs.
Characterizing Positive Energy District (PED) through a Preliminary Review of 60 Existing Projects in Europe
Author(s): Xingxing Zhang, Santhan R. Penaka, Samhita Giriraj, Maria N. Sánchez, Paolo Civiero, Han Vandevyvere
Editor(s): Francesco Nocera
Positive Energy District (PED) is recently proposed to be an integral part of a district/urban energy system with a corresponding positive influence. Thus, the PED concept could become the key solution to energy system transition towards carbon neutrality. This paper intends to report and visualize the initial analytical results of 60 existing PED projects in Europe about their main characteristics, including geographical information, spatial-temporal scale, energy concepts, building archetypes, finance source, keywords, finance model and challenges/barriers. As a result, a dedicated date base is developed and it could be further expanded/interoperated through an interactive dashboard. It is found that Norway and Italy have the most PED projects so far. Many PED projects state a ‘yearly’ time scale while nearly 1/3 projects have less than 0.2 km2 area in terms of spatial scale. The private investment together with regional/national grants is commonly observed. A mixture of residential, commercial and office/social buildings are found. The most common renewable energy systems include solar energy, district heating/cooling, wind and geothermal energy. Challenges and barriers for PED related projects vary from the planning stage to the implementation stage. Furthermore, the text mining approach is applied to examine the keywords or concentrations of PED-related projects at different stages. These preliminary results are expected to give useful guidance for future PED definitions and proposals of ‘reference PED'.
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.
Challenges in reaching positive energy building level in apartment buildings in the Nordic climate: A techno-economic analysis.
Author(s): Hassam ur Rehman; Ala Hasan; Francesco Reda
Publisher: Energy and Buildings
Buildings consume significant amount of final energy and they emit large amount of CO2 emissions. To address this issue, nearly zero energy buildings is becoming a common in many countries, while research is advancing towards the positive energy building (PEB) target by utilizing renewable energy that can support reducing the emissions from the building stock. The aim of this study, is to design and model a renewable-based energy system for a real demo apartment building in Nordics (Finland) in order to be a PEB, by exceeding the building’s heating, cooling and plug load demands. The novelty of this study is to assesses the fulfillment of the PEB level in cold climate, by simulating various technologies (such as photovoltaic-thermal (PVT) system, heat pump (HP), wind turbines, seasonal thermal energy storage etc.) their integration with the building, its controls strategies, types of load included in the energy balance and definition of building boundaries across which the balance is calculated. TRNSYS simulation software is mainly used for dynamic simulation of the energy system. The electricity import and export, the life cycle cost (LCC), and the onsite energy matching factors are calculated to estimate the performance of the proposed system. In addition, the challenges related to the building’s limited physical boundary are discussed. The results of this study shows that, if all the demands are included, i.e. heating, cooling and plug loads, then it is difficult to reach the PEB level. In this case, the investment cost in the energy system is around 47–62% of the LCC and the rest is the operational cost. On the other hand, the PEB level is relatively easier to achieve if the plug loads are excluded, then the investment cost is around 88–100% of the LCC and there can be positive cash ?ow due to larger energy export than import. The PEB level is possible to be achieved when all the demands are included if the building boundary is extended to a virtual boundary outside its physical boundary that allows the addition of more renewable generations or by changing the building’s shape that allows the more installations of renewables on the roof. In this scenario, the investment cost on the energy system is around 62–91% of the LCC. Compared to the building cost, the energy system cost is generally low, i.e. around 1.2–4.3% of the building cost.. It can be concluded that in the Nordic conditions, it is difficult to reach the PEB level for the buildings in urban areas if the all the building’s energy demands are included. Renewable energy generations, such as additional PVT and wind turbines, are needed to be installed in an extended (virtual) boundary of the building if the PEB criterion has to be met when considering all the energy demands. Investment cost of the renewable energy system is low compared to the building’s cost, therefore, such renewable-based solutions can be provided with small additional cost, along with the new building’s cost, so that PEB and carbon neutrality targets can be achieved.
Ten questions concerning positive energy districts
Author(s): Siddharth Sareen, Vicky Albert-Seifried, Laura Aelenei, Francesco Reda, Ghazal Etminan, Maria-Beatrice Andreucci, Michal Kuzmic, Nienke Maas, Oscar Seco, Paolo Civiero, Savis Gohari, Mari Hukkalainen, Hans-Martin Neumann
Publisher: Energy and Buildings
Positive Energy Districts (PEDs) constitute an emerging energy transition paradigm, with an ambitious timeline for rapid upscaling to match the urgency of climate mitigation and adaptation. Increasingly networked and coordinated actors aim to realise 100 PEDs across Europe by 2025. This resonates with the mission orientation turn of the European Green New Deal, to inspire and enable target-driven innovation. Yet it raises questions that have long perplexed scholars and practitioners in energy transitions: how can rapid diffusion be achieved in a sustained and replicable manner in diverse socio-technical contexts? Identifying the key questions to address and implement fit-to-purpose solutions within short-term project timescales is essential in order to mainstream PEDs. Such solutionism must be accompanied by a healthy dose of scepticism, in order to avoid undesirable outcomes such as exacerbated inequalities, societal backlash, and spatial displacement of invisible burdens. But it also requires proactive sharing of experiences, responsive learning and dissemination, and cooperation across sectors and disciplines. In this timely contribution, thirteen researchers from nine European countries flag ten questions concerning PEDs, and offer preliminary responses in line with cutting-edge insights informed by science and practice. This contribution draws on multidisciplinary competence in steering the Positive Energy Districts Eu ropean Network, and aims to make emerging knowledge widely available, while also inviting constructive critique and engagement within the PED arena which features a broad range of diverse stakeholders. Authors highlight key pathways forward for a rapid, far-reaching translation of the ambitious PEDs agenda into multisited, district-scale beacons of sustainable energy transition.
Evaluating Positive Energy Districts: A Literature Review
Author(s): Binda, T., Bottero, M., & Bisello, A.
Publisher: Springer, Part of the Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems book series (LNNS,volume 482)
To achieve the climate goals in the Paris Agreement and clean energy transition, positive energy districts must be promoted. A positive energy district is focused on increasing the efficiency of the buildings within it, using the renewable energy it produces, favouring electric and hybrid cars, and storing all the energy produced, in order to make clean energy for the whole city. Positive energy is a concept that takes into account not only the energy aspect, but also the environmental, social, and economic sphere. In order to be effective, this transformation requires the intervention of the community and the local decision-makers. The aim of the paper is to investigate the scientific literature, through the scientific dataset SCOPUS, in order to develop an evaluation framework for energy transition to support the decision-makers. Since the positive energy district is a recent paradigm, the investigation is extended to consider energy fields and takes into account different levels of urban scale. Specific keywords are used in order to find different economic methods in the literature, which can be used to support positive energy transition.
Sustainability in Energy and Buildings 2021
Editor(s): John R. Littlewood, Robert J. Howlett, Lakhmi C. Jain
Publisher: Springer Singapore
Presents research works in the field of sustainability and energy in buildings
Provides original works presented at SEB 2021 held in Split, Croatia
Serves as a reference for researchers and practitioners in academia and industry
ISBN: 9789811662683 9789811662690
Economic and emission reduction potential of renewable based energy systems in an apartment building in cold climatic conditions
Author(s): Hassam ur Rehman, Ala Hasan, Francesco Reda
Publisher: BS 2021
Buildings are one of the largest contributors towards emissions. The EU countries plan to cut 80% of the emissions by 2050. The aim of this article is to model two different photovoltaic (PV) based energy systems integrated either with new or old building in a district and to conduct emissions comparison against a reference city level energy system in the Nordic region. The main novelty lies in the analysis of the CO2 reduction potential from the grid and buildings. The relative emissions reduction is found to be 85% when the new building is integrated with PV+heat pump and seasonal storage system compared to the reference energy system. The emission reduction cost of such a system is 8.59 €/kg CO2/yr. Such systems can support in reaching the EU’s emissions target.
A Systematic Approach Towards Mapping Stakeholders in Different Phases of PED Development—Extending the PED Toolbox
Author(s): Caroline Cheng, Vicky Albert-Seifried, Laura Aelenei, Han Vandevyvere, Oscar Seco, M. Nuria Sánchez & Mari Hukkalainen
Publisher: Springer, Singapore
The development of Positive Energy Districts (PEDs) is arguably the development of an innovation embedded in a community of organisations and individuals (occupants, inhabitants, citizens) who can affect or are affected by the innovation. However, current methods of stakeholder engagement in PED developments do not systematically identify the type of stakeholders by phases of PED development. In this paper, we draw from selected theories on stakeholders in the strategic management literature from a practical viewpoint to outline a systematic approach towards mapping stakeholders in PED developments. The research question addressed is: How can stakeholders be systematically mapped in the different phases of PED development? From a case study involving 7 PED projects, we applied a preliminary tool delineating eight categories of actors relevant for the different phases of PED development. Based on our analysis, we suggest that it is important to reimagine PED stakeholders as interactive actors since stakeholder roles shift during the PED process and to map them on the building, district and the city scale. The contribution of this paper is twofold. First, in terms of managerial implications, we have outlined a preliminary actor-oriented stakeholder mapping framework that is attuned to the phases of the PED process and the different scale of stakeholders (building level, district level and the city level). Second, in terms of research implications, we have extended the notion of the PED toolbox to not only consider technical tools and non-technical tools but also include a category of managerial tools that merits research attention.