Author: Johnathan Subendran

4th +CityxChange Consortium Meeting

October 18-27th, 2021

On the 18th of October, the +CityxChange project kicks off its fourth consortium meeting. This time, the consortium meeting will be held over 1.5 weeks with a series of smaller sessions to share project updates and hearing the challenges and key learnings from each city. The meeting brings together all project partners including Lighthouse and Follower Cities.  

The project is heading into its third year of the five-year project and focusing on the finalization and replication phase. With over 69 deliverables submitted and a significant number of milestones achieved, the project team is proud of the ongoing dedication and commitment, especially under extra-ordinary conditions over the last year and a half. 

Stay tuned for more information on how the consortium week unfolds.  

+CityxChange Participates in Sustainable Places 2021 in Rome

The involvement of citizens and energy communities (energy citizenship) is seen as a key pillar in the energy transition. Citizens interact with the technical energy systems; they are both subject and object of social innovation in the energy society and are emerging economic actors in the energy markets. However, how to design and optimize energy policies that enable all citizens to take an active role in accelerating the energy transition, is still unclear. Also, the assessment of the potential impacts of energy citizenship and how to design and optimize energy policies that enable all citizens to take an active role in accelerating the energy transition, are still under defined.

The workshop aims at presenting and discussing the methods, strategies and expected impacts for citizen engagement applied in six different research and innovation projects in the area of Positive Energy districts. The workshop aims at finding a common definition of energy citizenship and explore how important citizen engagement really is for the success of new energy concepts. Also discussed will be the question of how to assess and compare the impact of citizen engagement strategies across projects. The six participating projects are: ATELIER, +CityxChange, ENERGE , MakingCity, mySmartLife and Pocityf. Check the Sustainable Places website for the exact date and time and for registration: https://www.sustainableplaces.eu/

D5.2: +Trondheim DST including training manuals/videos

The deliverable D5.2: +Trondheim DST including training manuals/videos was submitted by Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES), with contributions from TK in August 2021. The executive summary of the deliverable is available below and the full deliverable at the end for download:

” This document represents the work completed as part of Task 5.1 ‘Creating the Integrated Baseline Model for Energy/Mobility/Socio-Economic Trondheim’, and as such the task has applied the Decision Support Tool (DST) developed in WP1 (D1.4: Demonstration of the +CityxChange Integrated Modeling Platform) to the Trondheim demo area in the project.

Data was collected relating to the energy performance, demand and supply of 2,818 buildings for the demo district “Knowledge Axis”. These buildings were then simulated in the DST to produce an energy demand baseline for the demo area, and a much more detailed ‘Digital Twin’ model was created for the Sluppen PEB demo area and its buildings in terms of both demand and supply. As well as this, socio economic data for Trondheim was imported into the DST from the latest census results to form a socio economic baseline that will allow future modelling of energy demand/supply changes to be viewed from a socio economic point of view.

In order to demonstrate the functionality of the software, potential energy reduction interventions were applied for the PEB to show how energy demand could be reduced by improving the efficiency of the buildings. Renewable systems (PVs) were also modelled to demonstrate the potential for local supply and energy sharing between buildings to move the PEB towards net zero emissions. Other local generation such as heat pumps is currently under discussion and is therefore not modeled here.

An initial demonstration of the results and training session for relevant people in Trondheim was conducted, and further sessions are planned to ensure Trondheim Kommune can operate and leverage the DST for themselves. The recently developed Online PEB Design Workflow will now act as the main training vehicle to enable this to occur.

Following the training sessions, work is initiated on how to display and make use of the model and DST at screens/interactive screens on the citizen observatories (T5.3) and innovation playgrounds/labs (T5.5), and how TK can make use of the model/DST as a tool and enabler in activities, workshops, and events at the innovation playgrounds. Modelling agreed RES and efficiency interventions and definition of what-if scenarios for use in the shaping of a revised Bold City Vision has not started. Details are discussed in the conclusion. “

ElCity+

ElCity+ is a map-based board game that was created by NTNU to illustrate energy exchanges that will take place in Trondheim and nearby areas. In these areas, there will be several buildings with energy demands. The players are able to connect to these buildings and sell energy to them, but in order to sell energy to them, they will have to invest first in renewable energy sources (RES), for example solar and wind energy, and also in energy storage and refurbishment. The more buildings the players will connect to, the higher the energy demand they will have to satisfy, and the more renewable energy sources they need to invest in. The player that connects the most buildings creates the biggest district and can supply these buildings with their own RES. The player who ends up with the biggest positive energy district ( a district with more energy production than its own energy demand) is declared the winner. A Positive Energy Block (PEB) is a block that produces its own local energy that surpasses its needs. Several Positive Energy Blocks form a Positive Energy District. To become the owner of a positive energy block, a player needs to invest strategically in different energy technologies such as production, storage and refurbishment. While creating a PEB, connecting to buildings and investing in energy production, the players will be confronted with situations where they either don’t have enough or they have too much energy production, and need to buy or sell energy. In such situations, the players have to negotiate on the energy market with the other players and the Distribution System Operator (DSO), who can be either a natural or a legal person responsible for operating, ensuring the maintenance of and developing the distribution system in a given area. The players can trade with the DSO or with other players (in this case, peer-to-peer trading) to supply a particular district. The game is challenging the players to acquire the necessary technical and business skills to transform Trondheim into a big positive energy city while accumulating  positive energy blocks and creating positive energy districts. A number of 9 participants were involved in a face-to-face game play session and provided their own comments and suggestions for improvement. The session took place on 21 July 2020.

Positive Cities and Distribution Grids (PCDG)

The deployment of distributed energy generation technologies, especially solar photovoltaic energy production, has turned regular consumers into active contributors to the local supply of electricity. This development, along with the digitalisation of power distribution grids (smart grids) are setting the scene for a new paradigm: peer-to-peer electricity trading and the emergence of local flexibility markets. Microgrids, small communities or individual buildings can become net positive producers. This has led to the creation of multiple mathematical models and simulation environments to represent the interactions of positive buildings and distribution grids. In this regard, the Positive Cities and Distribution Grids (PCDG) model provides a user-friendly window to analyse the end-user benefits on engaging in peer-to-peer trade, the role of battery storage, allowing to showcase and quantify P2P trade benefits among buildings, and to analyse the overall benefit for the community. NTNU has developed an app that allows the user to analyse one’s district energy trade, as well as investigate the economic benefits of investing in renewable power generation for their own home. To use the app, the users will need some data about the district they live in, specifically the energy demand of each building over a particular time period and the energy price over the respective period. Additionally, the user can specify if any buildings have solar panels or wind turbines installed, as well as the amount of power generated over the particular period. Batteries may also be included in the configuration. The app was launched in November 2020.

Training-Through-Research

This is an ongoing activity that is part of the facility management and civil engineering education programme for bachelor and master level students at NTNU in Trondheim. Every year, a group of approximately 20 students are tasked to find out about citizens’ attitudes towards making investments in sustainable refurbishments, the motivations and rationales behind their thinking. The students are sent into the field to practice quantitative and qualitative data collection techniques through surveys, interviews and observations, and present findings in presentations, playbooks, etc. Students build upon the material and knowledge gained from specific districts in each iteration of the study. The results are communicated to various stakeholder groups,  including facility managers and municipality.

Innovation Camp for Ninth Graders

Trondheim Kommune organised a four-day ideation camp for youth in November 2019, with an introduction to smart city development and smart mobility. The students were challenged to develop their own smart mobility concepts, connecting them to the Sustainable Development Goals, and to develop a business plan for the idea. Mentors were present to support the students for the duration of the camp. A competition was held at the end of the week, with public voting and judges from public and private organisations, and constituted a community event for the area.

Nordic Edge Next Generation

A one-day youth conference was held in November 2019, in the organisation of Trondheim Kommune, together with Nordic Edge, YMCA Global and other actors involved in youth activities in Trondheim and Norway, with the purpose of bringing young people together to discuss topics related to smart cities and sustainable development. Representatives from Limerick City and County Council, as well as from Stavanger, Bodø, Oslo, Accra took part in the event.

The conference included a full day programme, consisting of lectures, a show and tell session, sustainability games and a co-creation workshop. The participants discussed the challenges of behaviour change to support a more sustainable future, co-creating solutions among themselves and in groups where youth and adults were mixed. As a result, the young participants gave their take on what the cities and the government should do to give young people a seat at the table when discussing sustainability. Approximately 80 people were involved.

Renewable Energy Scavenger Hunt

The Renewable Energy Scavenger Hunt was an event that was organised by Trondheim Kommune in Trondheim with a local secondary school to engage students with the themes of sustainability and energy. Seven stations that students would visit during the activity were set up. Activities at the stations included talks by guest speakers about micro grids, real-world demonstrations of renewable energy generation, ideation sessions, and various workshops on related themes. The event took place at the Sluppen City Lab, where there are plenty of examples of renewable energy generation, sharing, and smart mobility solutions for students to see and learn from. The event took place face-to-face on 28 September 2020 and involved approximatively 200 participants over 4h.

+Energy Day

+Energy day was an open air event organised by Võru municipality in the town centre on 22 August 2020. The event revolved around three main themes: what is energy?; how is energy produced and how to save energy. The event included several tents, where the public was able to listen to talks, watch and participate in science and technology demonstrations on energy production and saving, get engaged in pop-up energy playgrounds for families, and participate in public consultations. The event brought together four different project: “+Energy week”, “SaveSmart”, “BioAware” and “CityxChange”, building on the synergies among these. The event lasted for 4 hours and there were about 200 participants.