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.
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.
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.