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Positive Energy Districts (PED)

Energy Positive Districts (PED) is an international program that contributes to the sustainable development of cities by rewarding energy efficiency, local energy production and flexibility of the energy system. The goal is to have 100 energy-positive districts in the EU by 2025.

Energy-positive neighbourhoods for climate-neutral cities

Europe aims to be a leader in the transition and to continuously reduce the carbon footprint of cities. With more than two-thirds of the world's energy consumed in cities, cities are at the heart of the transition. As part of the effort to accelerate the transition, the Positive Energy Districts and Neighbourhoods for Sustainable Urban Development (PED) program was launched in 2018 at the initiative of the European Commission and others.

The PED program aims to support the planning, establishment and replication of 100 energy-positive neighborhoods in Europe by 2025. Today, the PED program is part of the European partnership program Driving Urban Transitions, DUT. The DUT program supports international research and innovation projects that address urban challenges in three areas; Energy Positive Neighborhoods, the 15-minute city and Circular Urban Economies.

The focus of the PED program remains the establishment of energy-positive districts, i.e. districts that achieve a positive energy balance on an annual basis and thus contribute to a surplus production of renewable energy. Through, for example, the introduction of energy-efficient solutions, local energy production and flexibility in the energy system, initiatives that together can contribute to creating climate-neutral cities. Thus, the PED program fits in well as one of several tools and financing instruments that cities can use to accelerate the transition to climate neutrality in 2030.

Viable Cities has supported the PED program by informing about upcoming calls and European matchmaking opportunities. Over the years, a number of projects with Swedish participation have been funded. Below is a summary of these projects.


Autocharacterization of PED to achieve digital references and iterative process optimization

The PED-ACT project focuses on process optimization to improve cooperation between different stakeholders and to support the decision-making process. PED-ACT will contribute to the standardization of the database of existing PEDs (planned, designed or already implemented) with a focus on Sweden, Turkey and Austria. PED-ACT will use the database to draw lessons and create digital PED references by mapping stakeholders' needs and priorities in the cities of Borlänge, Umeå, Ankara, etc. The PED-ACT project will pursue learning and co-design strategies between different cities to more broadly replicate PEDs and achieve climate neutral and smart cities.

Participants from Sweden: University of Dalarna, City of Borlänge, Umeå Municipality AB Stora Tunabyggen, Umeå Energi, Umeå University.

Read more on the PED-ACT website.

The overall objective of Propel is to demonstrate and evaluate methods to include innovation in urban agriculture, green waste management and transportation in PEDs. Technological and social innovations in urban agriculture, waste management and transport as components of PEDs create conditions for a more resilient energy supply while achieving improved urban-rural linkages. The project will look at new business models and innovative types of energy carriers via energy recovery in the food and food system.

Participants from Sweden: RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, City of Stockholm, Mälarenergi, Vafab, City of Västerås.

From ongoing PED projects, we see a need for a reliable intermediary that can balance the interests of different actors in urban development. With a digital energy model of the buildings and the energy system, a support is achieved that these intermediaries will need to be able to meet all requirements in the different process steps. The project will develop quality assurance method for PEDs by applying digital twin models from the design phase. The digital energy model will provide answers and support the deployment of planned energy performance in energy positive neighborhoods.

Participants from Sweden: Chalmers University of Technology (CUT), Chalmers Industriteknik (CIT), University of Gothenburg (GU), Framtiden AB (Fram), Johanneberg Science Park AB (JSP), Lokalförvaltningen (Lok), City of Gothenburg (CoG), White architects (White), Sustainable Innovation (SUST).

Read more on the Chalmers website.

Pilots (closed)

The PED Pilot Call (2020) focused on holistic approaches to PED implementation, applied approaches to integrating PEDs in different urban contexts and the legal framework, as well as urban governance, stakeholder involvement concepts and business models. After two years of work and a series of cross-project workshops, the projects presented and discussed their results and lessons learned in a series of webinars. Each seminar focused on a different aspect of PED development and consisted of a short input, followed by a panel discussion with project partners in an open and interactive environment.

Read more about the completed pilots and watch the seminars here.

The Cities4PED project brings together the cities of Brussels, Vienna and Stockholm to create energy positive areas. They will explore how cities can adapt and use their planning and implementation instruments so that urban development results in areas that produce more energy than they use. In the project, they will work together with experts from research, innovation and citizen participation.

Participants from Sweden: Stockholm Vatten AB, Stockholm Municipality and KTH.

Read more on the CITIES4PED website.

TRANS-PED - Energy-Positive Neighborhoods Transforming Cities

Energy-positive neighborhoods offer a great opportunity to accelerate the achievement of carbon reduction targets while creating more vibrant and livable cities. The goal of TRANS-PED is to develop a new way to drive systemic transformation for deep and holistic climate change adaptation in cities that can accelerate the transition to climate-neutral cities by 2030. Sub-objectives include developing common tools and approaches for framing, anchoring, assessing and scaling up urban energy innovations and building a learning network between academics, private companies, public authorities and civil society in participating countries.

Participants from Sweden: Linköping University, Lund Municipality, ElectriCITY Innovation and the Royal Institute of Technology.

Read more on the TRANS-PED website.

Holistic evaluation of Positive Energy Districts and an innovative stakeholder engagement process

The aim of the project is to accelerate the transformation of Europe's energy system by scaling up the establishment of PED districts. The project will provide policy makers and other stakeholders with improved decision-making data on the opportunities and consequences of energy-positive districts at an early stage, and develop a knowledge-based participatory process. The project will support knowledge sharing with other European PED pioneers, the development of PED strategies and their integration into general urban development strategies. The project will prepare for energy positive neighborhoods in at least 3 European cities.

Participants from Sweden: Chalmers, Uppsala Municipality, Sustainable Innovation in Sweden and White arkitekter.

Read more on the PED-ID website.

The Interact project is based on a holistic approach to integrated renewable energy systems. A LINK architecture optimizes the key functions of energy production, energy efficiency and energy flexibility, integrating the existing technologies in a municipality. Based on different use cases, the system architecture with communication links within the energy community to the market will be described. The project will design an appropriate roadmap with relevant technical, regulatory, legal, economic and stakeholder aspects so that more energy positive neighborhoods can be implemented in practice.

Participants from Sweden: Halmstad Municipality, Halmstad University, Tornet Fastighetsutveckling AB, Bengt Dahlgren AB and AFRY.

Read more on the INTERACT website.

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