Smart energy systems for cities provides cost-efficient flexibility in transition towards carbon-neutral energy system enabling the customers to choose energy services according to their own preferences easily.
In the future, different forms of energy, production technologies, distributed generation and demand response should be optimally combined enabling the flexible and cost-efficient transition towards emission-free energy systems.
Especially the urban energy systems have a significant role in the development as the energy networks in cities enable energy distribution and utilisation of storages based on the needs of both consumption and production. The increase in intermittent electricity generation and decrease in flexible generation increases the need for flexibility in energy system.
The study addresses urban energy systems especially from the perspective of district heating and cooling and seeks to identify how the utilisation and smart control of these systems could support the whole energy system to meet the future requirements and challenges. Also in terms of heating solutions customers expect to be able to choose energy solutions and services individually and effortlessly and based on their own values. One of the key conclusions is that district heating companies should be more active in offering comprehensive services including optimisation of living conditions, such as room temperature and humidity, and alternative energy solutions.
Smart energy control systems and service platforms enable better utilisation of, e.g., customers’ own energy production and demand-side response, which can support the whole energy system.
In case of district heating, this allows improved utilisation of existing production capacity which decreases the emissions.
In addition, one objective of the study is to supplement and support Finnish Smart Grid working group’s (nominated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment) work by offering the perspective of heating networks to the discussions.