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.
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.
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.