Future Living & Spaces

Good results from the Smart Cities Accelerator

Caroline Wendt
April 6, 2020

Smart Cities Accelerator is a project that gathers several municipalities, power companies and academic institutions in the Öresund region to create a fossil-free future through new energy solutions. The results can, among other things, lead to a more energy efficient district heating network, increased sustainability in city districts, and teaching materials that inspire school students to find green solutions.

Smart Cities Accelerator (SCA) is a project where sustainable and smart municipalities in the Öresund region work together to create a fossil-free future both through more intelligent use of energy and through integrated computer systems. The project has twelve partners. One the Swedish side is the City of Malmö, Lund Municipality, Båstads Municipality, Lund University, Malmö University, Kraftringen and E.ON Sverige.

SCA combines seven technical focus areas within the energy sector with four transverse horizontal areas – data, behaviour, laws/legal and education. The seven technical areas are: Energy renovation tools, Integration of low temperature in district heating, Energy saving, Demonstration projects, Intelligent energy optimization, Interaction between water and energy, and Climate-friendly energy supply.  

– The project is about, amongst other things, learning how to see holistically and think horizontally to find sustainable solutions within many areas, says Jon Andersson, sustainability manager at Lund municipality.

The project was completed during February 2020 and, for Lund’s part, has brought several good results. One being that Kraftringen had the desire to create a more resource efficient district heating network. In partnership with DTU and E.ON, Kraftringen has investigated whether it is possible to lower the temperature of the district heating network without compromising on the safe supply to the end customer. It was found that lowering the temperature by a few degrees brings both increased sustainability and energy savings.  

– We have evaluated a digital tool that allows better control over the temperature in the district heating network. Among other things, the tool considers weather forecasts, current temperatures in the district heating network and how much heat is stored in the grid, says Malin Friis, Strategic Key Account Manager at Kraftringen. By adapting the district heating temperature to current conditions, we can avoid instances of excess temperature. The conclusion from this is that digitalization allows a lower district heating temperature while improving the safety of supply due to better network awareness. It is fantastic what new technology can offer!

Lund municipality has examined City lab action, which is the Sweden Green Building Council’s (SGBC) sustainability criteria, and applied its thinking to a city district that is still in the planning phase.

– We undertook a sustainability assessment of the Västerbro project, which led to the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) developing a methodology that shows how to evaluate this type of district in a more holistic way, explains Jon Andersson.

The idea is that the tool could be used for other areas, for both entire districts and smaller parts of the city. The result of this has given a deeper understanding of the sustainability efforts at Västerbro.

– Västerbro is still in the planning stage, so we can benefit from this evaluation and strengthen the sub-areas that are shown to be lacking. The tool shows that Lund municipality’s work with Västerbro is strongest in the areas of mobility, social sustainability and housing supply, whereas we can develop the work on climate issues, the cultural-historical environment and business opportunities, says Jon Andersson.

The project also focuses on education and including students in new, green solutions because students are the energy users of the future. A number of pedagogical energy experiments have been developed by DTU and Vattenhallen, which have been tested in various contexts.

Lundafastigheter has, in collaboration with DTU, tested sensors for indoor climate measurements in schools. The sensors were used to improve the indoor environment but can also create a commitment among teachers and students. The measurements can be the foundation for future energy efficiency and digitalization projects.

What did it mean for you to join the SCA?

– For Kraftringens part, this project has resulted in a smarter district heating system that takes better account of the pre-conditions in the grid, says Malin Friis. The technology has led to a reduction of the distribution losses to the customer corresponding to 1.2 GWh/year, and as a result has reduced its climate impact in the form of 9.6 tons of CO2-equivalents. It is also easily replicated for other energy companies, both in Sweden and in other countries. We think that we have come up with something great and hope that it inspires others to do the same.

– We have learnt things about digitalization that we can use when working with our own properties, says Jon Andersson. Through the work with Västerbro, we have learnt how to implement an evaluation at the early planning stages. In addition, we at Lund municipality have become better at collaborating – both in Lund with Lund University and Kraftringen but also by getting to know what competencies are nearby in Copenhagen and DTU.

The Smart Cities Accelerator (SCA) project has been underway since 2016 and will conclude during February/March 2020. There are five participating municipalities – Copenhagen, Høje Taastrup, Båstad, Lund and Malmö; four institutions – University of Copenhagen, Lund University, Malmö University and the Technical University of Denmark, together with energy companies Kraftringen, E.ON and Høje Taastrup’s district heating company.

The project is financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Öresund-Kattegat-Skagerrak cross-border cooperation program.


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