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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
The online event, organised by the University of Limerick, took place online in September 2020 as part of the CityEngage week and was designed to have two parts. The first part included a series of invited short talks given by representatives of the +CityxChange project (from LCCC and UL) and local communities representatives. The talks were recorded and shared on social media(via Twitter) one week before the event, to create a common ground for the discussion in the second part: a synchronous online meeting following the Open Space model. The participants proposed a number of topics for the discussion, such as: Renewable energy sources and the Georgian Limerick – How can mobility become “smart”?; Protecting habitats while introducing renewables- a better city for all beings, not only people; Planning a sustainable smart city – How can the city planning process become more participative?
Next, online rooms on each topic were opened and the participants were able to join different rooms, based on their interest in the particular topics. After 30 min, the participants returned to the main room and shared a summary of what was discussed with all the 22 participants.
Our Spanish partner Colaborativa organised an online workshop during the September 2020 CityEngage Week in Limerick for those interested to learn how to make and use open hardware home energy monitoring devices. The workshop focused on preparing the participants to start measuring energy usage in their own homes, sharing data within their community and experimenting with these devices. The event was also aimed at bringing together members of the public with an interest in potential shared uses of the data generated. The event brought together 25 participants.
In September 2020, Trondheim Kommune organised a two-day workshop designed to engage high school students at Katedralskole in developing Sustainable Development Goals(SDG) -related ideas for their school and community. There were 60 students participating. The students were given a presentation on the importance of the SDGs, after which they were invited to brainstorm on possible ideas for projects that would support the school and the city to implement the SDGs. An online repository was created to allow students to upload their ideas to a database in digital format. The ideas contributed included initiatives such as developing better bus and bike infrastructure, autonomous garbage collection for the harbour, and community gardening initiatives.