What is a Positive Energy District/Neighbourhood?
Positive Energy Districts and Neighbourhoods are an integral part of comprehensive approaches towards sustainable urbanisation including technology, spatial, regulatory, ﬁnancial, legal, social and economic perspectives. They require interaction and integration between buildings, the users and the regional energy, mobility and ICT system. In this sense, a Positive Energy District is seen as an urban neighbourhood with annual net zero energy import and net zero CO₂ emissions working towards a surplus production of renewable energy, integrated in an urban and regional energy system. Active management will allow for balancing and optimisation, peak shaving, load shifting, demand response and reduced curtailment of RES, and district-level self-consumption of electricity and thermal energy. A Positive Energy District couples built environment, sustainable production and consumption, and mobility to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions and to create added value and incentives for the consumer. Furthermore, implementation has to come with a high and affordable standard of living for its inhabitants.
Why “Positive Energy Districts and Neighbourhoods”?
Urban development must move from mere building solutions to Positive Energy Districts and Neighbourhoods and similar innovative concepts to reach the European energy and climate targets. As an integral part of comprehensive sustainable urbanisation strategies including societal, social, economic, cultural aspects and the involvement of citizens, establishing Positive Energy Districts and Neighbourhoods shifts the focus from the individual positive energy building to positive energy blocks towards neighbourhoods and thus a new level of impact on sustainable urban development and the energy transition process. Discussions with cities and stakeholders from R&I, industry, investors and citizens will seek to raise awareness, ﬁnd common understandings on the topic and outline possible approaches towards the implementation of Positive Energy Districts.
Cities as driving forces
Municipalities and urban actors play a key role in achieving energy and climate targets. By creating the pre-conditions cities and communities are the driving forces behind establishing Positive Energy Districts and Neighbourhoods. European cities are already very active in integrating strategies of sustainable urbanisation – the Programme on Positive Energy Districts and Neighbourhoods offers partnership and support for cities in doing the next step of sustainable urban development and becoming frontrunners in the ﬁ eld of energy transition. Being part of the problem means being part of the solution: cities consume two thirds of energy supply and 70% of CO2-emissions come from urban environments. The programme offers an intense dialogue with cities and other stakeholders on urban transition – together we will develop feasible and socially sound pathways for creating liveable urban neighbourhoods meeting the challenges of the 21st century.
The Programme provides:
- Multi-stakeholder platform developing implementation pathways
- Exchange of information, experiences and visions with other European cities, forming a network of European Positive Energy Cities
- Funding of concrete initiation projects