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ECN publication
Energy Neutral Districts in 2050 - the Dutch Approach
Jablonska, B.; Roossien, B; Ruijg, G.J.; Visser, H; Willems, E.; Bakker, E.J.
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Policy Studies 16-9-2013
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-O--12-046 Other
Number of pages: Full text:
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According to the EPBD, from the end of 2020 on all new buildings should be built as nearly zero energy buildings. Instead of focusing on buildings only, a district approach to energy supply and consumption can be advantageous as regards the energy performance and economics. The potential of renewable energy technologies can be utilized to a larger extent while fewer energy generators are needed. An example is a so called energy-hub, in which exchange, conversion and seasonal storage of energy can lead to energy neutral districts before 2050. The Dutch study Transition in Energy and Process for a Sustainable District Development (Transep-DGO), financed largely by the AgentschapNL, has shown that this is possible. For energy neutral district development in 2050, six innovative energy concepts have been elaborated and the extent of energy neutrality in 2020, 2035 and 2050 calculated. Three concepts are based on an idea of an energy hub - bio hub, geo hub and a solar hub. Other concepts are all-electric, conventional and hydrogen concepts. Calculations show that implementation of each of the concepts can lead to energy neutral districts in 2050 or even earlier. When personal transport is included, energy neutrality in 2050 is not feasible. Based on the six general concepts, the most optimal energy concepts tailored for four Dutch cities have been elaborated as pilots, in close cooperation with municipality representatives. Solar hub has been dynamically simulated in order to show the added value of the exchange, conversion and storage of energy flows on a district scale. Energy Pattern Generator (EPG) has been applied for simulation of a virtual district with 1,000 dwellings of various categories. A solar hub with collective heat storage can reduce the demanded storage capacity by 26%, and the total required solar collector surface by 30% at maximum compared to individual seasonal heat storage capacity in dwellings that are not connected in an energy hub. Energy hub concepts can contribute considerable to energy neutral built environment in 2050. The effect can be intensified by an exchange of surplus sustainable energy with neighbouring districts and import of energy in case of a shortage. Keywords: energy neutrality, district, energy concept, energy hub, all-electric, district modeling

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