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Smart Cities and Positive Energy Districts: Urban Perspectives in 2021

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073). This special issue belongs to the section "G: Energy and Buildings".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2021) | Viewed by 31146

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Guest Editor
ENEA—Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, Department Energy Technologies and Renewables TERIN-SEN Smart Energy Networks, 40127 Bologna, Italy
Interests: BIM; sustainable development; sustainability; urban development; urban planning; urban sustainability; renewable energy technologies; land use planning; architecture; sustainable architecture
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Since 2018, the EERA Joint Programme on Smart Cities has promoted and published the most promising papers on tools, technologies, and system integration for Smart Cities and Positive Energy Districts, thus, positioning the EERA Joint Programme on Smart Cities as one of the strongest voices in this research area in Europe, capable of highlighting different points of view and solutions.

According to this, our ambition for the coming 4th Special Issue is to collect and publish original works, in the form of applied research and case studies (national/international RD&I projects; real solutions at national level implemented/in operation stage or implementation stage or planning stage), on the following:

  • Tools, technologies and system integration for smart cities
  • Tools, technologies and system integration for positive energy districts

Dr. Paola Clerici Maestosi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Energies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sustainable urban areas
  • energy production
  • energy efficiency
  • energy flexibility

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Editorial

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5 pages, 187 KiB  
Editorial
Smart Cities and Positive Energy Districts: Urban Perspectives in 2021
by Paola Clerici Maestosi
Energies 2022, 15(6), 2168; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15062168 - 16 Mar 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1805
Abstract
This Special Issue of Energies, “Smart Cities and Positive Energy Districts: Urban Perspectives in 2021”, introduces contemporary research on Smart Cities and on Positive Energy Districts. The present Special Issue, namely the fourth Special Issue, Smart Cities and Positive Energy Districts: Urban [...] Read more.
This Special Issue of Energies, “Smart Cities and Positive Energy Districts: Urban Perspectives in 2021”, introduces contemporary research on Smart Cities and on Positive Energy Districts. The present Special Issue, namely the fourth Special Issue, Smart Cities and Positive Energy Districts: Urban Perspectives in 2021, has been dedicated to tools, technologies, and system integration for Smart Cities and for Positive Energy Districts. The topic highlights the variety of research within this field, including research on: tools facilitating the evaluation of Sustainable Plus Energy neighborhoods, of enabling-technologies and procedures for Positive Energy Districts, and of multicriteria assessment for the identification of Positive Energy Districts; system integration related to optimized energy and air quality management in the COVID-19 scenario; system integration upgrading existing residential areas to the status of Positive Energy Districts; and renovation models for large scale actions. Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial

18 pages, 4745 KiB  
Article
Positive Energy Districts and Energy Efficiency in Buildings: An Innovative Technical Communication Sheet to Facilitate Policy Officers’ Understanding to Enable Technologies and Procedure
by Tiziana Ferrante and Teresa Villani
Energies 2021, 14(24), 8551; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14248551 - 18 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1844
Abstract
The Horizon 2020 framework programme is defining funding strategies for research and innovation projects in European cities and promoting policies and solutions for the transition to a competitive energy system at an urban scale. Given that Horizon Europe, thanks to the Driving Urban [...] Read more.
The Horizon 2020 framework programme is defining funding strategies for research and innovation projects in European cities and promoting policies and solutions for the transition to a competitive energy system at an urban scale. Given that Horizon Europe, thanks to the Driving Urban Transition Partnership, will fund RD&I projects regarding transitions to urban sustainability; how municipalities will implement different strategies is a relevant key to developing replicable models. We conducted this study on Italian cities through a mapping exercise on selected case studies. The aim was to provide a knowledge framework to municipalities undertaking sustainable urban development actions. We selected case studies based on energy efficiency in buildings, both in retrofits and new constructions. This highlighted how the adoption of multifaceted technological solutions blended well with each other, and led, not only, to satisfy the initial requirements, in terms of expected impacts from the single actions, but also provided relevant and replicable samples. For this, the analysis of solutions tested by different municipalities in the selected projects led to spreadsheets and indicators related to energy efficiency in buildings, which enabled a transition to a PED, which could facilitate an understanding of elements that must be clearly indicated in a preliminary design document (Directive 2014/24/UE). Full article
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18 pages, 6320 KiB  
Article
A GIS-Based Multicriteria Assessment for Identification of Positive Energy Districts Boundary in Cities
by Beril Alpagut, Arantza Lopez Romo, Patxi Hernández, Oya Tabanoğlu and Nekane Hermoso Martinez
Energies 2021, 14(22), 7517; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14227517 - 11 Nov 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2642
Abstract
Discussions regarding the definition of Positive Energy Districts and the concept of a boundary are still being actively held. Even though there are certain initiatives working on the boundary limitations for PEDs, there is no methodology or tool developed for selecting peculiar spaces [...] Read more.
Discussions regarding the definition of Positive Energy Districts and the concept of a boundary are still being actively held. Even though there are certain initiatives working on the boundary limitations for PEDs, there is no methodology or tool developed for selecting peculiar spaces for future PED implementations. The paper focuses on a flexible GIS-based Multicriteria assessment method that identifies the most suitable areas to reach an annual positive non-renewable energy balance. For that purpose, a GIS-based tool is developed to indicate the boundary from an energy perspective harmonized with urban design and land-use planning. The method emphasizes evaluation through economic, social, political, legal, environmental, and technical criteria, and the results present the suitability of areas at macro and micro scales. The current study outlines macro-scale analyses in six European cities that represent Follower Cities under the MAKING-CITY H2020 project. Further research will be conducted for micro-scale analyses and the outcomes will pursue a technology selection process. Full article
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17 pages, 5492 KiB  
Article
Possibilities of Upgrading Warsaw Existing Residential Area to Status of Positive Energy Districts
by Hanna Jędrzejuk and Dorota Chwieduk
Energies 2021, 14(18), 5984; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14185984 - 21 Sep 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2545
Abstract
This paper analyses possibilities of refurbishment of Warsaw’s residential buildings towards standards of the Positive Energy District. The annual final energy consumption in the city in 2019 for the district heating was 8668 GWh, gas (pipelines) was 5300 GWh, electricity from the grid [...] Read more.
This paper analyses possibilities of refurbishment of Warsaw’s residential buildings towards standards of the Positive Energy District. The annual final energy consumption in the city in 2019 for the district heating was 8668 GWh, gas (pipelines) was 5300 GWh, electricity from the grid was 7500 GWh, while the emission of the carbon dioxide was 5.62 × 109 kg. The city consists of 18 districts, which are heterogeneous in terms of typology and structure of buildings. The great variety of buildings can be seen, for example, by the annual final energy demand for space heating and hot water preparation per unit of room area. This annual index ranges from over 400 kWh/m2 in historic buildings to 60 kWh/m2 in modern buildings. A reduction in the consumption of non-renewable energy sources and carbon dioxide emissions can be achieved by improving the energy standard of residential buildings and by using renewable energy sources: solar energy, geothermal energy and biogas. The potential barriers for achieving the status of a positive energy district, for example, problems connected with ownership, financing new investments and refurbishment and legal boundaries, have been identified. Moreover, changing the existing electrical grid and district heating systems in urban areas in Warsaw requires comprehensive modernization of practically the entire city’s infrastructure. Full article
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32 pages, 4541 KiB  
Article
Combining Sufficiency, Efficiency and Flexibility to Achieve Positive Energy Districts Targets
by Silvia Erba and Lorenzo Pagliano
Energies 2021, 14(15), 4697; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14154697 - 3 Aug 2021
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 5502
Abstract
Energy efficiency, generation from renewable sources and more recently energy flexibility are key elements of present sustainability policies. However, we are beginning to see a recognition of the need to couple technological solutions with lifestyle and behavioral changes, sometimes labeled under the term [...] Read more.
Energy efficiency, generation from renewable sources and more recently energy flexibility are key elements of present sustainability policies. However, we are beginning to see a recognition of the need to couple technological solutions with lifestyle and behavioral changes, sometimes labeled under the term “sufficiency”. Appropriate policies and design principles are necessary to enable sufficiency options, which in turn reveal that there is a bidirectional influence between the building and the district/city level. In this context, the authors discuss how city and building re-design should be implemented combining energy efficiency, flexibility, production from renewables and sufficiency options for achieving a positive energy balance at the district level even within the constraints of dense cities. Based on a review of recent advances, the paper provides a matrix of interactions between building and district design for use by building designers and city planners. It also compares possible scenarios implementing different strategies at the building and urban level in a case study, in order to evaluate the effect of the proposed integrated approach on the energy balance at yearly and seasonal time scales and on land take. Full article
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16 pages, 17363 KiB  
Article
Analysis and Evaluation of the Feasibility of Positive Energy Districts in Selected Urban Typologies in Vienna Using a Bottom-Up District Energy Modelling Approach
by Hans-Martin Neumann, Ali Hainoun, Romana Stollnberger, Ghazal Etminan and Volker Schaffler
Energies 2021, 14(15), 4449; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14154449 - 23 Jul 2021
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2530
Abstract
This article investigates the potential of selected urban typologies in Vienna to reach the state of Positive Energy Districts (PED) by achieving a positive annual energy balance. It follows the EU initiative for implementing at least 100 PED in Europe by 2025. Four [...] Read more.
This article investigates the potential of selected urban typologies in Vienna to reach the state of Positive Energy Districts (PED) by achieving a positive annual energy balance. It follows the EU initiative for implementing at least 100 PED in Europe by 2025. Four urban typologies have been assessed using the bottom-up energy modelling tool MAPED that enables a simplified energy demand-supply analysis at the district scale. Considering relevant urban typologies in different construction periods, the analysis focused on converting the allocated building stocks into PED by employing comprehensive thermal refurbishment and energy efficiency measures, electrification of end-uses and fuel switching, exploitation of local renewable energy potential, and flexible interaction with the regional energy system. The results reveal that a detached housing district can achieve a positive annual energy balance (for heat and power) of 110% due to the fact that there are sufficient surfaces (roofs, facades, open land) available for the production of local renewable energy, whereas the remaining typologies fail to achieve the criteria with an annual balance ranking between 61% and 97%, showing additional margins for improvement to meet the PED conditions. The presented concept offers a practical approach to investigate the PED suitability of urban typologies. It will help the Austrian Ministry for Climate Action and Environment to identify appropriate strategies for the refurbishment of existing urban areas towards the PED standard. Full article
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25 pages, 5021 KiB  
Article
An Evaluation Framework for Sustainable Plus Energy Neighbourhoods: Moving Beyond the Traditional Building Energy Assessment
by Jaume Salom, Meril Tamm, Inger Andresen, Davide Cali, Ábel Magyari, Viktor Bukovszki, Rebeka Balázs, Paraskevi Vivian Dorizas, Zsolt Toth, Sheikh Zuhaib, Clara Mafé, Caroline Cheng, András Reith, Paolo Civiero, Jordi Pascual and Niki Gaitani
Energies 2021, 14(14), 4314; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14144314 (registering DOI) - 17 Jul 2021
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 4573 | Correction
Abstract
There are international activities and on-going initiatives, particularly at the European level, to define what Positive Energy Districts should be, as the driving concept for the urban transition to a sustainable future. The first objective of the paper is to contribute to the [...] Read more.
There are international activities and on-going initiatives, particularly at the European level, to define what Positive Energy Districts should be, as the driving concept for the urban transition to a sustainable future. The first objective of the paper is to contribute to the on-going and lively debate about the definition of the notion of Sustainable Plus Energy Neighbourhood (SPEN), which highlights the multiple dimensions when talking about sustainability in districts moving beyond the traditional and strict building energy assessment. Based on a holistic methodology which ensures the consideration of the multidimensional nature and goals of SPEN, the paper outlines an evaluation framework. The evaluation framework defines the key performance indicators distributed in five categories that consider energy and power performance, GHG emissions, indoor environmental quality, smartness, flexibility, life cycle costs and social sustainability. This framework is designed to be implemented during integrated design processes aiming to select design options for a neighbourhood as well within during the operational phase for monitoring its performance. Further work will include the implementation and validation of the framework in four real-life positive energy neighbourhoods in different climate zones of Europe as part of syn.ikia H2020 project. Full article
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21 pages, 5007 KiB  
Article
PEDRERA. Positive Energy District Renovation Model for Large Scale Actions
by Paolo Civiero, Jordi Pascual, Joaquim Arcas Abella, Ander Bilbao Figuero and Jaume Salom
Energies 2021, 14(10), 2833; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14102833 - 14 May 2021
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3638
Abstract
In this paper, we provide a view of the ongoing PEDRERA project, whose main scope is to design a district simulation model able to set and analyze a reliable prediction of potential business scenarios on large scale retrofitting actions, and to evaluate the [...] Read more.
In this paper, we provide a view of the ongoing PEDRERA project, whose main scope is to design a district simulation model able to set and analyze a reliable prediction of potential business scenarios on large scale retrofitting actions, and to evaluate the overall co-benefits resulting from the renovation process of a cluster of buildings. According to this purpose and to a Positive Energy Districts (PEDs) approach, the model combines systemized data—at both building and district scale—from multiple sources and domains. A sensitive analysis of 200 scenarios provided a quick perception on how results will change once inputs are defined, and how attended results will answer to stakeholders’ requirements. In order to enable a clever input analysis and to appraise wide-ranging ranks of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) suited to each stakeholder and design phase targets, the model is currently under the implementation in the urbanZEB tool’s web platform. Full article
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17 pages, 2179 KiB  
Article
Optimized Energy and Air Quality Management of Shared Smart Buildings in the COVID-19 Scenario
by Giuseppe Anastasi, Carlo Bartoli, Paolo Conti, Emanuele Crisostomi, Alessandro Franco, Sergio Saponara, Daniele Testi, Dimitri Thomopulos and Carlo Vallati
Energies 2021, 14(8), 2124; https://doi.org/10.3390/en14082124 - 10 Apr 2021
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 3576
Abstract
Worldwide increasing awareness of energy sustainability issues has been the main driver in developing the concepts of (Nearly) Zero Energy Buildings, where the reduced energy consumptions are (nearly) fully covered by power locally generated by renewable sources. At the same time, recent advances [...] Read more.
Worldwide increasing awareness of energy sustainability issues has been the main driver in developing the concepts of (Nearly) Zero Energy Buildings, where the reduced energy consumptions are (nearly) fully covered by power locally generated by renewable sources. At the same time, recent advances in Internet of Things technologies are among the main enablers of Smart Homes and Buildings. The transition of conventional buildings into active environments that process, elaborate and react to online measured environmental quantities is being accelerated by the aspects related to COVID-19, most notably in terms of air exchange and the monitoring of the density of occupants. In this paper, we address the problem of maximizing the energy efficiency and comfort perceived by occupants, defined in terms of thermal comfort, visual comfort and air quality. The case study of the University of Pisa is considered as a practical example to show preliminary results of the aggregation of environmental data. Full article
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