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Talking Positive Energy Districts with Tagesspiegel Background

BIPED’s coordinator Martin Brynskov of DTU gave an interview to Tagesspiegel Background, a digital hub for news and commentary on the latest trends driving developments in energy, mobility, smart city, science, technology, and more.

An article about BIPED in Tagesspiegel Background

Here’s a run-down of the main points:

  • Multi-scale connection: BIPED is focusing on the Gellerup neighbourhood of the Brabrand district in Aarhus. The ambition is to achieve climate neutrality and make Gellerup energy-positive in the next few years, and then scale the results to other parts of the city and beyond. The main target areas for intervention are building stock renovations, renewables and electric mobility.

  • E-vehicles potential: Brynskov thinks that e-mobility can become one of the biggest mobile energy storage systems of the future. They can adjust charging or return energy to the grid to optimise energy supply. In Brabrand, e-cars can already feed electricity back to the grid as necessary.

  • Virtual prototyping: Critical infrastructures like a district’s energy system cannot be shut down for experimentation. But thanks to digital twins, scenarios involving solar, wind, district heating, waste water, e-mobility and other parameters can be simulated risk-free to design optimal interventions. Moreover, BIPED’s digital twin will be fitted with the latest AI technology to propose optimisation strategies that meet required constraints (budget, capacity, resource availability etc.) and desired policy objectives.

  • Interoperability: Standards are needed so that data, systems and services can “talk to each other” in a common language. This is where MIMs come into play. Minimal Interoperability Mechanisms ensure that the necessary technical requirements are met to provide efficient, scalable data-driven services locally and across borders.

  • Bottom-up innovation: Technology is obviously an important enabler, but reaching net zero is not possible without citizens on board. And this involves more than attending co-creation sessions at the municipality. Communities can be real agents of change in energy transition. Case in point is Sol over Brabrand, a new association that will work with BIPED to achieve climate neutrality and eventually positive energy balance in the pilot district. Sol over Brabrand aims to create an energy community where families, companies and public institutions buy and sell green electricity produced locally through solar panels on residents’ rooftops.

  • Obstacles to net zero: Many cities, Aarhus included, have made some remarkable progress toward climate neutrality. But much remains to be done. For example, scope 3 emissions are a real headache. How do we account for and manage all the indirect emissions outside of city’s boundaries/control?

  • New water: For a long time we were told that data is the new oil. While this view has merits, in Brynskov’s opinion data is more akin to new water. We need to learn how to put it to good use and not waste it.


The interview is available in German to Tagesspiegel Background subscribers. Access article.

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BIPED is funded under the EU Horizon Europe Research and Innovation programme. Grant ID: 101139060

BIPED is funded under the EU Horizon Europe Research and Innovation programme. Grant ID: 101139060

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