EUSEW 2020 Webinar: Creating a joint vision for Positive Energy Districts

+CityxChange and other H2020 Smart City projects related to the Positive Energy District (PED) concept, were part of the EUSEW webinar ‘Creating a Joint Vision for PEDs’. PEDs (Positive Energy Districts) are an important concept in both the EC’s Smart Cities & Communities (SCC) programmes and the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET plan). In the EC’s SCC Lighthouse programme, which has set PEDs as a formal standard in its recent calls, over 420 Million Euro are invested in 47 Lighthouse Cities and 67 Fellow Cities.

Two main lines of action are currently ongoing in this context: the refinement of the PED definition in order to arrive at a commonly accepted standard for PED implementation and the building of PEDs in on-the-ground projects such as under the EC SCC Lighthouse scheme. Given the current developments, a third factor is brought into the discussion: How can PEDs contribute to increased robustness against shocks and at the same time present specific opportunities for post-COVID recovery (Green Deal)?

Session Agenda:

  • Pitch 1: Definitions and approaches: an overview – Han Vandevyvere, SCIS consortium (Vito)
  • Pitch 2: The PED Framework – a joint PED vision – Christoph Gollner, FFG (Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH)
  • Pitch 3: Challenges of the local context – Rudy Rooth, Atelier Local Coordinator Amsterdam (DNVGL)
  • Pitch 4: Reality check in current EIP SCC Lighthouse Cities – 2 field cases +CityxChange, Powel  and  MAKING-CITY, Oulu (Marit Teigen Myrstad +CityxChange, Samuli Rinne MAKING-CITY)
  • Discussion 1: Elaborating on the PED definition and certification work, feedback to the SET plan
  • Discussion 2: Addressing challenges and barriers to building PEDs on the ground: recommendations, next steps, feedback to the related EU policy and regulatory frameworks
  • Wrap up: Reporting from the discussion groups

During their presentation, Marit Teigen Myrstad (Trondheim Municipality) and Klaus Livik (Powel) provided territorial-grounded insights from our project. They focused on regulations of the energy market and how these barriers could be overcome in order to become PED enablers. Interesting conclusion were drawn from the second discussion round , ‘Addressing challenges and barriers to building PEDs on the ground: recommendations, next steps, feedback to the related EU policy and regulatory frameworks’, where +CityxChange representatives were moderators in. ‘The discussion group addressed among others:

  • The importance of experimenting regulations in current EU projects, the circumstance that the economic incentive is not in place for building owners – who expect a much more simplified regulation which they could understand and make use of – as the most urgent regulatory bottlenecks that need to be overcome to speed up the development of PEDs.
  • The need for PED supporting regulation and policy is clear, but current ongoing regulation work would need more coordination and time. However, it is challenging to address all the policy making processes in an integrated and holistic manner.
  • Some investors don’t see the long-term benefits of investing in PEDs. Therefore, regulation plays a very important role and could help to overcome this. Based on the feedback from the EIP-SCC matchmaking event, quite some investors are interested in making long term investments on infrastructures, PEDs included. In addition, both regulation and new innovative financing mechanisms and procurement are considered important in facilitating the breakthrough of PEDs.’

All in all, the sessions were designed to give an in-depth understanding of what the current challenges to build PEDs are, and brainstorm on possible actions and recommendations on future developments. The main target stakeholders were those involved in PED development, but also representatives from local authorities which could get more insights on their future policy developments.


Read the full recap of the Webinar here. 

Find the recording of the Webinar here.

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