Cities use tremendous amounts of energy. Therefore there are great opportunities to redesign, reconfigure the way to reduce (energy) waste and increase (energy)efficiency.
Already popular at university campuses, military bases, airports and office parks.
District Energy is not available everywhere equally
To reduce transmission loss and keep energy prices lower, cities must integrate power generation into neighborhoods. Many of the cities are working to increase efficiency and expand the use of District Energy and create electrical energy at any given location or district energy and make it available with a computerized distribution system.
District Heating is a system that produces hot water at a central plant and pipes it out to the buildings in the district for space heating. Already popular at university campuses, military bases, airports and office parks.
- 64 percent of Stockholm's heating needs are provided through district heating, and the city is taking action to expand this percentage to a potential of about 80 percent.
Stockholm's production of heat and energy takes an ecocycle approach in other ways. Several of its combined heat and power plant are fueled by waste dust from a sawmill, first converting the dust into pellets at a compressing plant and shipping them by boat directly to the plant. The result is the use of a renewable energy source and the conversion of a waste stream into a productive good.
-The conversion of sewage sludge to fertilizer and its use in food production, and the generation of biogas from sludge.
-The biogas is used to fuel public vehicles in the city and to fuel a combined heat and power plant. In this way, wastes are returned to residents in the form of district heating.
- Vienna only started district heating in the 1990s but has now converted 100,000 flats and many institutional buildings, such as hospitals (costs of hookup to the system are subsidized by the city).
- In Saarbrucken, a municipal-owned utility company is responsible for providing water, gas, electricity and block heating. 97 % of the energy needs of this city are produced locally.
- Many new Dutch housing districts have energy conservation and lower energy usage as central design themes. A power generator is located in the center of the project, which produces electricity and also provides centralized district heating (hot water) for all units in the development.