EERA Joint Programme Smart Cities (EERA JPSC) concluded its work in 2023 with an inspiring event in Warsaw on December 1, 2023. The event was hosted by the Warsaw University of Technology (WUT) and organized within the 16th Conference on Research and Development in Power Engineering conference (RDPE). By being a part of RDPE conference, EERA JPSC showcased its work to a bigger audiece and increased the interest of the conference participants to join the programme.
Prof. Dorota Chwieduk (WUT) launched the event with an interesting presentation of the sustainable transformation of energy sector in Poland. Impressive data related to the energy share for heating in Poland were presented – the utilization of hard coal in Poland experienced a decline from 40% to 21% within 9 years. However, a transition from centralized mono-energy systems to integrated multi-energy systems remains a huge challenge for polish cities.
A practical glimpse into the sustainable transformation of energy sector in Poland was provided by Deputy Director Leszek Drogosz (City of Warsaw). Warsaw, a city housing 1.8 million residents, boasts 40% green space coverage and a mere 2% unemployment rate, is actively progressing towards achieving climate neutrality. Along with being one of the 112 EU Mission Cities, the City has developed the Green City and Climate Action Plan 2023, which should be the key guidance in enabling Warsaw’s residents to benefit from a climate neutral, inclusive, resilient and green city.
The structure of EERA Joint Programme Smart Cities, key achievements, and ideas for potential activities in 2024 were presented by prof. Annemie Wyckmans (NTNU), Coordinator of EERA JPSC. The scope, results and plans of EERA JPSC Working Groups were presented by Giovanni Semprini (UNIBO), Michal Kuzmic (CVUT) and Sonia Giovinazzi (SAP).
The introductory part was enriched by compelling insights from EERA Secretariat delivered by Adel El Gammal, Secretary General. Mr. Gammal highlighted the UNEP Emissions Gap report 2023 exposing a significant gap between present actions and sustainable goals. Emphasizing multi-stakeholder engagement's importance, he highlighted EERA JPSC for collaborative innovation. Additionally, Ganna Gladkykh, EERA’s Clean Energy Transition Expert, stressed the EU's need for an energy demand reduction strategy to reach climate and clean energy targets while sharing crucial insights from the recent Energy Demand Reduction Report.
The second part of EERA JPSC Winter event consisted of two thematic seminars:
In the first seminar moderated by prof. Wojciech Bujalski, the audience could learn more about Scaling from PEB to PED (Per Sieverts Nielsen, DTU), Lessons learned with the PED-EU-NET Database (Michal Kuzmic, CVUT), The Role of Building Automation and Control Systems (BACS) in buildings according to the new Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (Giovanni Semprini, UNIBO) and Smart Resilient and Sustainable Energy Distribution and Transmission Systems (Alberto Tofani, ENEA). In the second seminar moderated by prof. Tadeusz Skoczkowski, prof. Henk Visscher (TU Delft) brought closer the topic of Facilitating positive energy buildings and neighbourhoods by showing concrete examples, while Gerhard Stryi-Hipp (Frauhofer ISE) elaborated on the Advantages of creating a digital twin as a basis for optimising district energy systems.
The event concluded with insightful remarks from Professors Annemie Wyckmans, Dorota Chwieduk, and Wojciech Bujalski. They emphasized the significance of sharing knowledge and evidence in influencing decision-making positively. Highlighting the essential nature of multi-stakeholder innovation, they stressed the importance of explicitly demonstrating the added value of this approach to cities and businesses, while offering support for effective implementation. Looking ahead, some of the plans for EERA JPSC in 2024 include organizing summer schools for students and researchers, fostering continued collaboration on joint projects and moderation of large-scale innovation by bringing businesses together across countries.