Courriel Impression

Qualitative and Quantitative Assessment of New Paradigms and Challenges for Urban Energy Systems

Project leader : Enerdata

In the context of the growing role of cities in the transition toward a more sustainable energy future, urban energy systems are undergoing profound changes, including technological and services developments along with new governance and organisation structures. This study uses a combined qualitative and model-based quantitative approach to identify, understand and assess the current and future paradigms shifts, along with the associated challenges which urban areas will have to cope with in the future.

A detailed literature review offers an in-depth understanding of such challenges, reflecting in particular the need to address the question with an integrated and multidisciplinary perspective to account for possible synergy and optimisation effects across both economic sectors and the various structuration levels of urban areas (buildings, districts, whole area). More specifically, the review highlights the strong granularity required – up to various building types – to tackle specific challenges such as the role of decentralised PV and, at district level, the decision making between thermal renovation and expansion of a district heat network.

Finally, the study has been complemented by a quantitative, model-based assessment of the energy perspectives for the agglomeration of Grenoble Alpes Métropole. The EnerCity model, developed by Enerdata, has been used to build three contrasted scenarios: a baseline scenario, a second one focusing on possible energy efficiency developments, and a last one assessing the enhanced role of decentralised energy solutions and technologies in the agglomeration. Main results show that currently implemented policies lead to an overall stabilisation of total energy consumption, whereas the local district heating network may offer a slight expansion potential. In total, about 9% of cumulated energy savings seem economically viable over the next 20 years, whereby the most significant achievements may be achievable through efficiency measures in residential and tertiary buildings. Decentralised energies offer great opportunities to explore, and could cover up to approximately 16% of total energy needs by 2035, the most promising technologies being the coupling of residential photovoltaic systems with individual batteries, the development of solar thermal technologies and, to a lesser extent, of air source heat pumps.

1-pdfResults workshop presentation  
1-pdfExecutive summary
1-pdfFinal report
2-websiteenerdata-logo website