Optimal use of our electricity grid
Optimal use of our electricity grid
The city of Amsterdam is preparing together with Nuon/Vattenfall, Liander and ElaadNL for an expected increase of electric cars in the city and the use of more locally generated renewable energy. In March 2017 Amsterdam began with 'flexible charging' of electric cars on the public charging network. The main goals are to avoid peakloads on the electricity grid and match supply and demand of sustainable power. The city of Amsterdam wants to stimulate electric mobility by the roll-out of a futureproof and smart public charging network and become emission-free in 2025.
Some first results:
86,5 % of fully electric cars have charged more power in a shorter amount of time. The
higher charging speed outside the peak ensures that the slower charging speeds
are compensated for.
89,6% of all plug-in hybrid cars show no difference. These cars can technically not charge any faster and could in fact suffer from the lower charging speeds. However, in
practice this is NOT the case. Explanation for this is that these cars have small batteries and therefore the duration the car is connected is mostly longer than the actual charge duration.
Due to a higher charging speed during the day, more power is being used from solar panels.
The first implementation of OCPP* 1.6 smart charging profiles on a public charging network (*Open Charge Point Protocol)
City of Amsterdam, Nuon /Vattenvall, Liander, ELaadNL, and Amsterdam University of applied sciences (HvA). Flexpower is also part of the Interreg SEEV4city Pilot of Amsterdam
The first results of the project are promising. Cooperation is being continued and we are looking at the opportunity for scaling up!
Rolling out a smart and future-proof public charging network
Get notified about new updates, opportunities or events that match your interests.
This is the 9th episode of a series 25 building blocks to create better streets, neighbourhoods, and cities. Casualties in traffic are main threats to the quality of the living environment. ‘Vision zero’ might change this.
Any human activity that annually causes 1.35 million deaths worldwide, more than 20 million serious injuries, damage of $1,600 billion and is a major cause of global warming would be banned immediately. Except for the use of the car. This post describes how changes in road design will improve safety.
Researchers from various universities in the US, Australia and Europe have studied the relationship between road pattern, other infrastructure features and road safety or its lack. They compared the road pattern in nearly 1,700 cities around the world with data on the number of accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Lead researcher Jason Thompsonconcluded: <em>It is quite clear that places with more public transport, especially rail, have fewer accidents</em>. Therefore, on roads too public transport must prioritized.
Most accidents occur in developing and emerging countries. Road deaths in developed countries are declining. In the US from 55,000 in 1970 to 40,000 in 2017. The main reason is that cars always better protect their passengers. This decrease in fatalities does not apply to collisions between cars and pedestrians and cyclists, many of which are children. Their numbers are increasing significantly, in the US more than in any other developed country. In this country, the number of bicycle lanes has increased, but adjustments to the layout of the rest of the roads and to the speed of motorized traffic have lagged, exposing cyclists to the proximity of speeding or parking cars. SUVs appear to be 'killers'and their number is growing rapidly.
In many American cities, paint is the primary material for the construction of bike lanes. Due to the proximity of car traffic, this type of cycle routes contributes to the increasing number of road deaths rather than increasing safety. The Canadian city of Vancouver, which doubled the number of bicycle lanes in five years to 11.9% of all downtown streets, has the ambition to upgrade 100% of its cycling infrastructure to an AAA level, which means safe and comfortable for all ages and abilities. Cycle paths must technically safe: at least 3 meters wide for two-way traffic; separated from other traffic, which would otherwise have to reduce speed to less than 30 km/h). In addition, users also need to feel safe.
Vision Zero Cities such as Oslo and Helsinki are committed to reducing road fatalities to zero over the next ten years. They are successful already now: There were no fatalities in either city in 2019. These and other cities use the Vision Zero Street Design Standard, a guide to planning, designing, and building streets that save lives.
Accidents are often the result of fast driving but are facilized by roads that allow and encourage fast driving. Therefore, a Vision Zero design meets three conditions:
• Discouraging speed through design.
• Stimulating walking, cycling and use of public transport.
• Ensure accessibility for all, regardless of age and physical ability (AAA).
The image above shows a street that meets these requirements. Here is an explanation of the numbers: (1) accessible sidewalks, (2) opportunity to rest, (3) protected cycle routes, (4) single lane roads, (5) lanes between road halves, (6) wide sidewalks, (7) public transport facilities, (8) protected pedestrian crossings, (9) loading and unloading bays, (10) adaptive traffic lights.
Strict rules regarding speed limits require compliance and law enforcement and neither are obvious. The Netherlands is a forerunner with respect to the infrastructure for bikes and pedestrians, but with respect to enforcement the country is negligent: on average, a driver of a passenger car is fined once every 20,000 kilometers for a speeding offense (2017 data). In addition, drivers use apps that warn of approaching speed traps. Given the risks of speeding and the frequency with which it happens, this remissing law enforcement approach is unacceptable.
Follow the link below to find an overview of all articles.
ATELIER is an EU funded project about AmsTErdam and BiLbao cItizen drivEn smaRt cities, aiming to create and replicate Positive Energy Districts (PEDs) within eight European cities. ATELIER showcases innovative solutions that integrate buildings with smart mobility and technologies to create rather than consume energy in its two Lighthouse Cities Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Bilbao (Spain). The Fellow Cities of ATELIER, Bratislava (Slovak Republic), Budapest (Hungary), Copenhagen (Denmark), Krakow (Poland), Matosinhos (Portugal), and Riga (Latvia), will replicate and adapt the successfully implemented solutions and thus serve as testbeds for future smart cities. Overall, ATELIER will thus generate an energy surplus of 1340 MWh of primary energy and save 1,7 kt of CO2 and 23 t of NOx-emissions.
To achieve successful implementations of energy saving measures, ATELIER puts citizens at the centre of all its activities: residents (<9000), local initiatives and energy communities will be included in decision-making processes and activities and will be strongly engaged in the development of the technical solutions throughout the project. Citizens will be involved in the Innovation Ateliers to create a maximum impact for the PEDs.
30 partners from 11 countries are working in 10 work packages.
Learn more about ATELIER at its public website (http://www.smartcity-atelier.eu/) or via the ATELIER Twitter and LinkedIn channels. Sign up here (link follows) for the ATELIER newsletter. Follow the project virtually and don’t miss an opportunity to come talk to its partners at events to learn more about how ATELIER will improve the life of its citizens and the liveability in its cities!
Thursday, the 30th of August, we had the first follow-up session about Local Energy Systems (LES) since the Transition day session in June. Over the summer Omar Shafqat (HvA, ATELIER), dr. Renée Heller (HvA), and Lennart Zwols (municipality of Amsterdam), have worked on finding a solution to the barriers to scaling up LES. They focused on the barrier of sharing information and learnings of LES projects. In this session, Omar presented a framework that could help overcome this barrier.
A barrier to scaling up LES: Lack of knowledge
In the previous session, we discussed how the difficulty with starting a new LES project is often that the information on how to do this is not readily available. Many pilots have been done, or are still ongoing, and there are definitely reports on the learnings of these pilots. Unfortunately, these learnings are not always available to everyone, and if they are, quite difficult to find and aggregate.
Lennart therefore proposed to make a framework in which we can gather all the information on LES pilots and projects, so we have a central place for the collecting and sharing of information. Omar and Renée have created this framework, which Omar presented in this session. The framework has three objectives:
1. Collecting the learnings of the pilots in one place.
2. Defining the gaps in our knowledge.
3. Creating a starting point for people who want to create their own LES.
Definition of a Local Energy System
To properly create a framework in which various information of relevant LES projects can be collected, it was necessary to have a good definition of a LES. Omar presented the definition as follows:
A local energy system is an interactive, non-linear system that must contain:
Hans Roeland Polman (AMS) commented that he was missing the infrastructure in this definition. Omar clarified that the lines between these five entities symbolize the infrastructure and that it is indeed an important component of LESs.
When we speak of LES it is always a balancing act. Different stakeholders have different objectives for implementing a LES, maximizing renewables, minimizing costs, flexibility/congestion, grid dependence, etc. This implies that the aspects of a LES are of differing importance to stakeholders, which is important to take into account with information gathering and sharing.
The first version of the framework for collecting information
After discussing the definition of LES, we dived into the framework. The goal of this framework is to have one format in which we collect information and learnings from all the LES pilots and projects (starting with the ones in our own network). This will allow us to speak a common language, easily compare projects, identify stakeholders and their interests, see where the knowledge gaps are, and more easily find specific information about LES.
Note: This framework is not the interface for the end-user. The framework should be used to catalogue information and learnings so that we have the information on all the different projects in the same format. We can then use this to build a user interface that end-users can interact with. How to best do this is still a topic of discussion.
The framework is presented below. On the x-axis, you can see the time scale. On the left you have the long-term (planning) phase, and on the right the short-term (management) phase.
On the left side, you can see the four areas in which the framework is divided:
The colour-coded third dimensions show which blocks relate to certain topics of interest, and should have information added on this topic. The topics of interest that have been added now are:
It might be interesting to add others as well.
It was suggested by the group that electricity/heating might also be an interesting topic to add. Hans (AMS) also suggested that it would be interesting to add information about local infrastructure, such as a local heat network.
Discussion and questions
After the presentation of the framework a discussion followed. Many questions were raised which require further examination. A few of the key questions were:
Next steps and call to action:
There are still many questions that need to be answered, and we will continue the research and learn by doing. We will start with the ATELIER and the LIFE project, to see if we can put them into this framework. This will be done by Omar (HvA, ATELIER), and Hans (AMS, LIFE). They will also create the first version of a template in which the information can be collected so that project managers can fill out this information. This will then be tested with the project managers of the LIFE project to see if the template and framework are indeed workable.
This will give a good starting point to see if the framework is suitable for the collection of information and learnings of LES projects. However, it will be far from complete. The ATELIER and LIFE projects don’t contain all the topics to properly test the framework and create templates for everything. We therefore need more partners with LES projects that can help test and develop this framework.
So if you are working on a Local Energy System project, and you would like to help further develop the framework, by giving feedback on the framework itself or using your project to validate the effectiveness of the framework, please let us know.