Smart City integration of Biomass thermal and electric energy
The development of smart energy systems are part of a general move towards greater energy efficiency, increased use of renewables, and lower emissions. Realising their full social and economic value is a highly collaborative endeavour, which mostly involves many different players coming together for the first time to assemble whole systems of user-centred products, technologies and services.
Eclectic group of stakeholders representing different parts of a system that had never come together as a whole before
In the early days of Smart Cities conceptualisation and pilot projects, I delivered a first of its kind Smart Biomass workshop for researchers, technology providers and city officials to visualise and model whole energy system proposals for specific neighbourhood areas of Santander, Valladolid and Palencia in just a few hours. Funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, the event was part of a feasibility study commissioned by AVEBIOM to assess technology, minimum viable pilot and financing opportunities for Smart Cities integration of Biomass thermal and electric energy.
We aimed to radically shorten the time it would usually take to align the actions of new and traditionally siloed energy players scattered across Spain, and mostly unfamiliar with ‘smart’ energy, towards developing tangible pilot ideas and forming new alliances around complex interdependent systems.
For the design of the workshop, I compiled/drew from a status report on smart electric and thermal energy technologies and systems, and used socio-demographic composition and tenancy data of the selected neighbourhoods, a survey of attitudes towards energy, and the first Horizon 2020 Smart Cities Light House projects call for integrated energy/ transport/ ICT commercial-scale solutions. A prototype of the workshop was tested and fine-tuned with a mix of telecoms, architecture, electric engineering students at Madrid Polytechnic University.