Municipalities are already facing completely different complexities within their societies. In order to keep up with this rapid pace of change, and to guarantee the well-functioning of their cities, municipalities must improve their approach on how to utilise their resources and engage with new technologies.
Recent technological developments have changed and reshaped the functioning scheme of different service sectors, including the energy markets. The consumption-production model is becoming more complex in terms of design, operation and maintenance.
This is accompanied by the introduction of new key elements to the system, such as renewable source, energy storage, smart grids, data management and prosumers.
While changes in the energy market design in the past related primarily to wholesale markets, nowadays, new technologies are fundamentally changing the markets at the distribution level.
The traditional DNO (Distribution Network Operator) distribution model which was focused on the one-way delivery of electricity, with clear and reliable definitions of up- and downstream is challenged by locally distributed generation and decentralised means of electricity trade.
Instead of only fulfilling their basic responsibilities – ensuring reliable energy supply and quality of service – distributors must evolve by becoming active network managers.
However, industry practices are not yet at the stage of having a more holistic approach when it comes to integrating design, implementation and assessment activities.
Thus, not all types of stakeholders have the same opportunity to participate in the implementation of positive energy blocks in their districts and cities. +CityxChange is situated in the process of this transition and aims at providing new evidence-based and replicable solutions in the urban environment.