Northern Connections

Gothenburg project in knowledge sharing at European level

16 January 2018 - Published by Rikke Schak Toustrup-Jensen
The Fossil-free Energy Districts project, or FED, was presented in Brussels on 7 November. Within FED, new, innovative solutions for a fossil-free society will be tested and energy use reduced. The goals and challenges were discussed at European level.

FED is an EU-funded innovation project that the City of Gothenburg runs under the Urban Innovative Action programme, or UIA. The aim is to make smart local energy communities that minimise fossil-fuelled energy peaks and reduce external energy imports, as well as to establish a digital marketplace. What makes FED unique is that the project involves three energy carriers – electricity, heating and cooling – that are produced, stored and traded by actors in a local marketplace.

"Energy efficiency has been on our agenda for many years. With FED we want to find out how we can offer our customers more renewable production and what role we play in a changing energy landscape," says Patrik Arvsell at utility company Göteborg Energi.

Unique testing opportunities

FED offers testing opportunities for both national and international actors. The testbed is located at Chalmers University of Technology's Johanneberg campus and has a perfect combination of property owner, energy infrastructure and users. The area is exempted from the concession right for electricity distribution, which provides the opportunity to test and evaluate a local energy market. The digital marketplace will optimise the use of low quality energy to replace primary energy. One building's energy needs will be balanced by the surplus from Another.

Business promotion activities

FED offers a unique testbed in the shape of a local energy market. Electricity, heating and cooling are produced, stored and traded by actors in a local marketplace. The project focus is on reduced environmental impact, future business opportunities and offering testing opportunities in the Gothenburg region for both national and international actors.

"Within the project we plan to invite startups and SMEs to participate in an innovation competition once a year to promote new innovations and ideas. Business opportunities are found in new energy solutions, as well as in innovative services and perhaps even disruptive business models," says Lars Bern, Area Manager Innovation at Business Region Göteborg, which is one of the project partners.

Energy issues high on the agenda in the EU

Parallel to this, a high-level meeting was held in the European Parliament in Brussels on the theme of clean energy. This gathered politicians, energy and property sector representatives and investors.

"The European Investment Bank has made major investments and will continue to invest purposefully in the transition taking place in the energy industry. At the same time, we need to see demand for renewable energy and new business models," says Andrew McDowell, Vice President of the European Investment Bank.


About FED – the Fossil-free Energy Districts project:

The Fossil-free Energy Districts project, or FED, is an innovative initiative of the City of Gothenburg to reduce energy use and fossil-fuel dependence in buildings. A unique local marketplace for electricity, district heating and district cooling is being developed together with eight strong partners. Johanneberg Science Park, Göteborg Energi, Business Region Göteborg, Ericsson, RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Akademiska Hus, Chalmersfastigheter and Chalmers University of Technology are all contributing their expertise and knowledge in order to make FED an attractive proposition even in other European cities. Chalmers' Johanneberg campus will comprise the actual test bed during the period 2017-2019. FED is funded by Urban Innovative Actions, the European Commission's initiative to allow cities to test new solutions to their challenges. The total project budget is EUR 5.8 million.