The Fossil-Free Energy District (FED) in Johanneberg Science Park in Gothenburg is a unique project that demonstrates how to create a local digital marketplace for electricity, heating and cooling and help reduce the use of fossil energy.
FED, the Fossil-Free Energy District, is an innovative project aiming to cut the use of energy and dependence on fossil fuels in a local urban area. The district hosting the project is located outside the energy distribution concession and provides the opportunity to test and evaluate the possibilities of a local energy market. A digital trading platform can optimise the use of low-grade energy to replace primary energy. The system allows the buying and selling of energy between buildings, with one building’s energy surplus being used by another.
No cables in the ground
This model for creating a digital service market offers several benefits, including the elimination of the need to lay cables in the ground. The trading system was successfully implemented in June 2018 and all investments were in operation by January 2019. The results show that it’s possible to reduce costs by approximately 5 percent and CO2 emissions by up to 16 percent.
Digital buying and selling
Market operators connect their local production of electricity, heating and cooling to central energy distribution systems. All operators are connected to the electricity mains, which can detect the need to buy and sell electricity from energy stores at local properties. The digital platform makes it possible to advertise demand for buying electricity and the sale of surplus electricity. The FED system is made up of:
• 24 consumers (business premises, homes, electric-vehicle charging);
• 11 ‘prosumers’ (solar panels, heat pumps and cooling units);
• 2 producers (biofueled heat and power, heat pumps, cooling units, solar panels, wind turbines);
• 16 storage units (building thermal inertia, water storage for cooling, PCM storage for cooling, lithium-ion battery storage); and
• 3 external producers (electricity, district heating and district cooling).
Open forum for learning and collaborating
A wide-ranging group of partners was formed, comprising organisations from the public sector, academia and business. These include the City of Gothenburg, Johanneberg Science Park, Göteborg Energi, RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden), Chalmers University of Technology and Ericsson.
Key learning points
The project offers an overview of the potential to create a smart and sustainable market for electricity, cooling and heating in a city district consisting of both homes and businesses. It also provides an overview of how technologies can be used and combined to substantially reduce fossil fuel dependence. The FED system and test bed is open to organisations interested in learning more and perhaps collaborating on new ideas and solutions that could help build more sustainable cities and urban areas around the world.