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Active buildings in smart grids - Exploring the views of the Swedish energy and buildings sectors
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5409-8950
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5480-0167
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3831-0886
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4589-7045
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2016 (English)In: Energy and Buildings, ISSN 0378-7788, E-ISSN 1872-6178, Vol. 117, 185-198 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Resource type
Text
Abstract [en]

The development of smart grids is expected to shift the role of buildings in power networks from passive consumers to active players that trade on power markets in real-time and participate in the operation of networks. Although there are several studies that report on consumer views on buildings with smart grid features, there is a gap in the literature about the views of the energy and buildings sectors, two important sectors for the development. This study fills this gap by presenting the views of key stakeholders from the Swedish energy and buildings sectors on the active building concept with the help of interviews and a web survey. The findings indicate that the active building concept is associated more with energy use flexibility than self-generation of electricity. The barriers to development were identified to be primarily financial due to the combination of the current low electricity prices and the high costs of technologies. Business models that reduce the financial burdens and risks related to investments can contribute to the development of smart grid technologies in buildings, which, according to the majority of respondents from the energy and buildings sectors, are to be financed by housing companies and building owners. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 117, 185-198 p.
Keyword [en]
Active building, Buildings sector, Demand response, Energy sector, Smart grid
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-31304DOI: 10.1016/j.enbuild.2016.02.017ISI: 000373751300019Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84959252105OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-31304DiVA: diva2:912782
Available from: 2016-03-17 Created: 2016-03-17 Last updated: 2016-09-30Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Building as active elements of energy systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Building as active elements of energy systems
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Buildings account for approximately 40% of the energy demand and 33% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union. Accordingly, there are several efforts that target energy efficiency in buildings both at the European and Swedish levels. The role of buildings in climate change mitigation, however, is not limited to energy savings. Buildings are expected to become key elements of the future smart energy systems by supplying and using energy in a more flexible way. Reducing the energy demand in buildings effectively and shifting the role of buildings in energy systems from ‘passive’ consumers to ‘active’ prosumers, however, require close interaction and cooperation between the energy and buildings sectors.

Based on the data collected from interviews and a web survey, this doctoral thesis investigates the relationship between the energy and buildings sectors in Sweden at the inter-company level, presents key stakeholder views on smart energy features in buildings and investigates the opportunities and barriers for their adoption in Sweden and Hong Kong.

The results of this thesis suggest a potential for improving the cooperation between the Swedish energy and buildings sectors, which was identified to be influenced by the following factors: district heating monopolies; energy efficiency efforts in the buildings sector; unsuccessful technology-neutrality of the building regulations; self-generation systems in buildings; and energy use patterns. Shifting the focus from self-gains to mutual gains appears crucial to strengthen the inter-sectoral cooperation, as there are several opportunities for achieving mutually beneficial solutions for the two sectors. This would, however, require significant changes in current practices and business models as well as the introduction of new technologies, which would allow for a more flexible energy supply and use. Accordingly, technologies that target flexible energy use in buildings are considered the most important smart energy features in buildings. The current high costs of technologies, such as home automation and smart electrical appliances, however, create the strongest barrier to adoption. Therefore, the introduction of new business and ownership models and the elimination of the institutional and regulatory barriers are crucial to achieve a wide-scale development of smart energy features in buildings. The results from Hong Kong suggest that institutional and regulatory barriers can particularly create strong hinders to the adoption of technologies.

It is possible to achieve more sustainable energy systems, where buildings are active elements of networks that supply and use energy in a more flexible and ‘smarter’ way. Cooperation between the energy and buildings sectors can play a key role in the adoption of smart energy features in buildings and pave the way for the smart built environment of the future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2016
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 212
Keyword
smart grid; smart home; cooperation; energy; buildings
National Category
Energy Engineering
Research subject
Energy- and Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-33317 (URN)978-91-7485-286-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-11-11, Alfa, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 244-2011-231
Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-09-30 Last updated: 2016-11-08Bibliographically approved

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