Buildings & Energy

RESEARCH OVERVIEW

Distributed energy generation-incorporating efficiency, local renewables and combined heat and power systems-has the potential to enhance cities’ environmental, health, and wellbeing outcomes. Specifically, it has the power to enhance supply reliability during extreme events, promote energy efficiency and conservation, reduce GHG emissions, curb air pollution, and minimize power generation’s water withdrawal intensity, all while helping to reliably meet peak demand.

To advance understanding of how best to leverage distributed energy systems, the network’s research efforts are exploring the social and institutional factors that enable (or inhibit) distributed energy deployment at the community scale. The network’s efforts are also examining the necessary levels of participation by, and coordination of, individual users as well as appropriate mechanisms for overcoming the legal and financing barriers to wider deployment.

The network is also investigating the technical requirements of broader distributed energy system deployment, including the challenge of integrating distributed and centralized energy systems across scales. Key elements of the network’s technical research include design and testing of hardware interfaces, integration controls, and stochastic models that explore longer time scales, more complex system configurations and inter-system integration, such as energy & water system integration. Researchers are also developing more detailed urban energy models that consider the spatial distribution of power demand, loads, storage and generation over space and time.

OUR PRODUCTS

Sustainable Urban Infrastructure Transitions in the ASEAN Region: A Resource Perspective (UN Environment and Sustainable Healthy Cities collaboration)

  • February 2018
  • Report
  • Author: Multiple

The ASEAN nations are a hot spot for rapid urbanization over the next 30 years: Between 2015 and 2050, ASEAN cities are projected to add 205 million new urban residents … Read more

The Weight of Cities: Resource Requirements of Future Urbanization (International Resource Panel report with Sustainable Healthy Cities contributing authors)

  • February 2018
  • Report
  • Author: Multiple

Over the next 30 years, an additional 2.4 billion people are likely to be added to the global urban population, meaning a shift from 54 percent of the population living … Read more

Circular Economies and Low Carbon Urban Infrastructure Planning

  • February 2018
  • Podcast
  • Author: Anu Ramaswami

What is the unique role that urban infrastructure planning can play in national carbon mitigation? In this podcast, Anu Ramaswami, professor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, discusses how … Read more

All-city Carbon Emissions: Understanding City Types and Impact

  • February 2018
  • Podcast
  • Author: Anu Ramaswami

It is common practice to consider the carbon emissions of single cities. But what happens when you analyze carbon emissions for all cities in a country using nationally aligned data? … Read more

Public Funding for Energy Research and Development

  • December 2017
  • Podcast
  • Author: Gabe Chan

Effective decision making to allocate public funds for energy technology research, development, and demonstration (R&D) requires considering alternative investment opportunities that can have large but highly uncertain returns and a … Read more

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