Local energy systems - a piece of the new energy puzzle
To coordinate and scale up the transition towards more sustainable, decentral and digital energy grids in the North Sea Region, the ACCESS project will rely on good examples and practices from four knowledge partners. One of them is Johanneberg Science Park in Gothenburg, Sweden, who hosted the ACCESS partners for a project meeting in November. During the two-day meeting, they got a chance to learn more about the innovative local energy market that has recently been established on the university campus.
The collaborative project Fossil-free Energy Districts (FED), with funding from the EU initiative Urban Innovative Actions, ended in October 2019. Over three years, its nine local partners successfully established the first digital, local marketplace that combines the three energy carriers: electricity, heating, and cooling.
Local energy systems are often mentioned as part of the solution when it comes to the transformation of the energy system, that is necessary partly to meet increased demand, but also to take care of a growing share of energy from renewable sources. Driven by these future challenges and with AI-technology as an enabler, the nine partners of the FED project have built such a system on the campus of Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. This better positions local energy systems as a possible piece of the energy transition puzzle.
“It is a great success that we have managed to create and demonstrate this new and unique energy system that is now in full operation on campus. Our ambition is to contribute to a future renewable energy system and the great deal of attention and interest FED has attracted, both nationally and internationally, confirms that the concept of local energy systems is on the rise,” says Stina Rydberg, project manager at Johanneberg Science Park.
By connecting the buildings on campus to a digital marketplace, the FED system is programmed to independently manage a constantly ongoing trade between buildings that can consume, produce and store energy. The system continuously gets external input such as weather forecasts and electricity prices and it is also connected to the surrounding energy grid.
This way the system can control the energy consumption, for example by heating a building a few hours before the weather turns cold, and ensure that locally produced, renewable energy is used efficiently within the area. Hence, power-intensive peaks are avoided, and imports of fossil-based energy can be reduced.
“We are very proud of what we have accomplished, and we hope that our experience can contribute to the energy transition in Europe. By sharing our lessons learned in the ACCESS project we can ensure that our knowledge comes to wider use and that we can be part of developing and fine-tuning our ideas further,” says Stina Rydberg.
The FED partnership
FED was the result of a close collaboration between nine local partners representing both the City and its municipal energy company Göteborg Energi, property owners, ICT developer Ericsson and academia. The nine partners of FED: The City of Gothenburg, Johanneberg Science Park, Göteborg Energi, Business Region Göteborg, Ericsson, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Akademiska Hus, Chalmersfastigheter and Chalmers University of Technology.