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A POsitive Energy CITY Transformation Framework

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - POCITYF (A POsitive Energy CITY Transformation Framework)

Reporting period: 2019-10-01 to 2020-09-30

Cities and their regions of influence are continuously and rapidly growing. In 2015, almost 75% of the EU population lived in urban areas and this share is expected to rise over 80% by 2050. Urban areas account for 60%-80% of global energy consumption and about the same share of CO2 emissions. Moreover, an estimated 97% of the EU’s building stock (close to 30 billion m2) is considered to be energy inefficient, while up to 75-85% of this will continue to be utilised by at least 2050. In order to comply with EU ambition of being climate neutral by 2050, cities need, therefore, to become way more sustainable.

POCITYF emerges as a pioneer in what concerns the application of smart city solutions in historical cities (where, due to the legal frameworks that condition the installation of more conventional sustainable solutions, such as PV panels, the road to a more sustainable future has more barriers). The project brings together 8 cities (2 Lighthouse Cities – Évora (PT), Alkmaar (NL); 6 Fellow Cities – Granada (ES), Bari (ΙΤ), Celje (SI), Ujpest (HU), Ioannina (GR) and Hvidovre (DK)).
The project builds upon intelligent, user-driven and demand-oriented city infrastructures and services to foster energy efficiency, supported by substantial increase of renewable energy and e-mobility adoption, leading to the wide deployment and market-uptake of Positive Energy Blocks. Overall, POCITYF is creating new possibilities to make cities safer, greener and more responsive to the needs of their citizens, businesses and other organizations. To this end it brings new technologies and renewed infrastructure to putt European cities at the forefront of the fight against global warming.
POCITYF consortium has been working accordingly to the following 10 key objectives (KOs):
• KO1: Demonstrate solutions at building and district level that enable the increase of energy self-consumption and energy savings;
• KO2: Demonstrate P2P energy management and storage solutions;
• KO3: Demonstrate the integration of electro-mobility solutions;
• KO4: Demonstrate the integration of the latest generation of ICT solutions within existing city platforms;
• KO5: Demonstrate active citizen engagement services and solutions providing an open innovation ecosystem for citizens to participate in co-creation activities;
• KO6: Design bankable business models and robust investment concepts that consider the whole PED lifecycle;
• KO7: Strengthening the links and cooperative innovation with other SCC Projects and initiatives;
• KO8: Measure, validate and evaluate the demonstration results after a 2-year large-scale demonstration in the LHCs;
• KO9: Demonstrate solutions that facilitate the energy transition of historical and cultural heritage city areas;
• KO10: Identify related regulatory barriers, legal aspects and data security/protection and propose practical recommendations on how to overcome them.

During project’s first year, the consortium has detailed the current status and vision of each city related to innovations in building stock and district infrastructure (KO1, KO2, KO3, KO9) in the Lighthouse Cities (and partially in the FCs). The local ecosystems have further characterised the demo sites and respective solutions in terms of requirements.
In what concerns interoperable ICT integration and monitoring (KO4 and KO8), the consortium has established the basis under which progress will be built upon regarding data management. A thorough identification of projects KPIs was also conducted, followed-up for the initial definition of monitoring plans and cities’ high-level ICT architectures.
In one of its key areas – citizen engagement -, the consortium has started to collect citizens’ perceptions (KO5) over its concept and set of solutions. An initial engagement strategy was also delineated.
The work on business models and path to exploitation (KO6) was also started, by the adaptation of an existent smart city canvas to further detail POCITYF business models and by starting the identification of partners’ key exploitable results.
A crucial component of POCITYF 1st year were the communication and dissemination activities (KO7): in order to explore links with other initiatives, POCITYF has been present in several physical and digital smart cities events and workshops.
In terms of regulation (KO10), POCITYF members have identified national and city-specific law applicable in each LHC and FC, highlighting the regulatory barriers that might affect the implementation of the demonstration activities.
POCITYF builds its smart city activities upon already developed and validated a) RES-based solutions; b) energy efficiency measures (e.g. thermal grid controllers, low temperature streams); c) storage solutions (e.g. H2, 2nd life batteries, V2G); d) symbiotic operation of all energy vectors (e.g. waste heat, low temperature, geothermal); e) big data and data management platforms (e.g. Connect with Energy and GRIDS energyCity platform); and f) smart control systems (e.g. BEMS).
In total, consortium will deploy 73 individual innovative elements (technologies, tools, methods). These IEs are the innovation backbone of POCITYF.
During this first year, POCITYF partners have been characterizing and develop part of those 73 innovation points. Technological challenges have been tackled by matching users’ and demo sites’ requirements. Besides the technical part, the consortium is identifying market needs, changes and challenges that may influence the technologies implementation, innovation and market value during the project. Moreover, the overcoming of regulatory barriers have been one of the focus of POCITYF first year, where innovative basis are being established for the formation of e.g. virtual energy communities and installation of BIPV solutions compliant with architectonical directives.

Demonstration will be performed in 21 building complexes covering a total floor area of 87,480 m2 with current energy needs of 13.25GWh/year. FCs have also identified over 140,000 m2 of floor area where POCITYF’s solutions will be replicated, including 18 historical buildings. POCITYF will achieve the following impacts: a) Local RES penetration of 16.2 GWh/year within the districts; b) 144% coverage of total net energy needs by local RES; c) Waste heat recovery of 5,880MWh; d) Thermal storage at district level equivalent to 2,052MWh. All the above, along with e-mobility uptake, will result in an estimated total of 9,743 GHG reduction (in tons CO2/year). In total, 2.32 GWh annual savings will be achieved by the two LHs by 2024 within their PEBs. The two LHs PEBs will be over positive with a total outcoming energy of 2.1 GWh/y for all Evora’s PEBs and 5.7 GWh/y for Alkmaar.

POCITYF LHCs and FCs have already elaborated and approved investment plans in line with the proposed tracks and solutions. In total, 40M€ will be invested by the 2 LH city ecosystems, while another 350M€ will be fuelled by the 6 FC ecosystems during the project duration (2020-2024).
Significant reductions of GHG emissions and other pollutants will be achieved through “smart environment” and “circular economy” solutions as described above. POCITYF will, as well, contribute to other environmental (reduction of GHG and other pollutants via a smart environment and circular economy approach) and societal impacts (boost cultural heritage sector, job creation, cities’ sustainable attractiveness, property value, energy security and healthy ageing).
LHC Évora demos
LHC Alkmaar demos
POCITYF involved cities