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EnergyLab Nordhavn – Results from an urban living lab

EnergyLab Nordhavn

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From 2015 to 2019 the project EnergyLab Nordhavn – New Urban Energy Infrastructures has utilized Copenhagen’s Nordhavn as a full-scale smart city energy lab and demonstrated how electricity and heating, energy-efficient buildings and electric transport can be integrated into an intelligent, flexible and optimized energy system.

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By Jeanette Irene Nielsen, March 03, 2020

EnergyLab Nordhavn was formed in 2015 as a triple helix, bringing together academia, industry, utilities, and local government to pursue solutions for the design and operation of a costefficient and integrated energy system for the future—all based on our living lab in Nordhavn in Copenhagen and the innovation power that such a physically integrated place can offer. The project builds on Copenhagen’s power grid and district heating network, but also ventures far into the built environment and private dwellings to co-model and co-simulate these in order to unlock their flexibility potential.

For four and a half years, 12 partners in Denmark’s largest and most ambitious smart energy project, EnergyLab Nordhavn, have worked together to develop new methods and solutions for designing and operating tomorrow’s flexible and integrated energy system based on Copenhagen’s Nordhavn as a living metropolitan laboratory—solutions that will accelerate an effective green transition.

The final report brings together selected results and lessons learnt from the project. Most of the results were hypothesized before the start of the project in April 2015, but new opportunities emerged in the course of the project, leading to the development of new solutions.

In October 2019 we published a report with 28 recommendations aimed at the authorities, municipalities, utility companies, building consultants, and technology. The recommendations show how we can realize the potentials of sustainable, flexible, and sectorlinked energy solutions, for example by providing input for changing a number of obstacles currently inherent in the existing Danish legislative and fiscal structure—obstacles identified by EnergyLab Nordhavn through its work to create a flexible digital energy system in the Copenhagen district of Nordhavn.

Examples include the harmonization of energy taxes across energy types and exploiting the potential of buildings for storing energy, which can subsequently be made available to the energy system. In addition, access to data from energy suppliers must be ensured as a basis for continued innovation and development within this field.

Download the full report here.

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