Cities play a crucial role in the implementation of climate and energy policies. Many have demonstrated a remarkable commitment and progress towards net zero carbon emissions. But reaching that energy’s holy grail is easier said than done as cities grapple with implementation challenges that hamper decarbonisation at scale. The new EU-funded initiative BIPED will help Aarhus and other cities to manage energy transition by developing and scaling positive energy districts, a key building block in achieving city-wide climate neutrality.
Aarhus, Denmark, 25 January 2024: Urban activities are a major source of green house gases, with cities accounting for more than two thirds of global energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Transition towards carbon-neutrality is not possible without cities and regions – the beating heart of our economies – leading the way on climate action.
In Europe, many local administrations are already at the forefront of energy transition. However, managing this complex task is challenging as many moving parts and simultaneous interventions need to be coordinated across multiple domains and levels. The new Horizon Europe project BIPED will help cities with this transformation by providing intelligent solutions for building and scaling up positive energy districts, or PEDs.
PEDs are urban areas that produce more energy than they consume during the year. To achieve positive energy balance, PEDs minimise their energy needs with energy efficiency measures and cover the remaining energy consumption with locally sourced renewables. PEDs rely on smart planning and control measures to optimise how energy is produced, consumed, stored and transferred within district boundaries and beyond.
“Our technical solution boasts an advanced digital twin technology complete with AI-driven optimisation tools for better urban planning,” said BIPED coordinator Martin Brynskov at a project kick-off in Aarhus, Denmark. The city will provide a testbed for BIPED innovation in the western district of Brabrand. There, the PED community will take shape as a district living lab with innovative collaboration and empowerment of all stakeholders. The purpose is to innovate PED development, democratise technology, create awareness and digital literacy, and support evidence-based action in regards to cleaner and more efficient energy planning and consumption.
After the initial deployment in Aarhus, BIPED tools and results will be offered to interested adopters across Europe, with a special focus on urban actors in the climate neutral cities network. The use of standards, and in particular MIMs (Minimal Interoperability Mechanisms) will be a key enabler of cross-border integration, as well as between domains and systems, including energy, buildings, public spaces, mobility, natural environment, ICTs, and socioeconomic activities.
“We hope that our outcomes will encourage more cities to fast-track climate neutrality through an ambitious district transformation,” said Brynskov. “Ultimately, we want to set a leading international example that will encourage other countries to follow suit as they set out to build resilient energy systems and sustainable economies fit for the energy transition that is green, digital and just.”
Project fact sheet
Duration: January 2024 – December 2026
Total budget: EUR 7,017,437.50
EU contribution: EUR 6,304,468.75
- Technical University of Denmark, DK (Coordinator)
- The Data Competence Center for Cities and Regions, DE
- Open & Agile Smart Cities, BE
- City of Aarhus, DK
- Austrian Institute of Technology, AT
- Digital Resilience Institute, CZ
- Virtual City Systems, DE
- University of West Bohemia, CZ
- RoadTwin, CZ
- InnoConnect, CZ
- UTRIUSQUE, CZ
- KPMG Ireland, IE
- Center Denmark, DK
Contact for press
Technical University of Denmark
Digital Resilience Institute