The FREE Research team has recently introduced a city-wide planning strategy for solar city development. The research has been published in WIREs Energy & Environment and is available free of charge here.
The planning strategy explored by the FREE research team was to subdivide the entire city of Daejeon, South Korea into equal area cells in order to assess the rooftop solar and energy efficiency potential of the buildings within each cell. The idea is that such a strategy could support decision-making at the infrastructure-scale and, hopefully, convince interested investors that the opportunity is real and valuable.
The FREE research team made use of innovative geospatial assessment methods and visualization techniques in order to assess and display the ‘solar city’ and ‘savings city’ potential of the City of Daejeon. An example illustration of the results is given in the figure below which shows which areas of the city could expect to meet high levels of their annual electricity consumption through a combination of energy efficiency and rooftop solar. In fact, the research shows that 118 ‘cells’ of the city could achieve at least 60% of their annual electricity consumption from the combined use of these sustainable energy technologies. Of these, 40 cells could achieve at least 80% of their annual energy needs from rooftop solar and efficiency measures.
A case study analysis of the city of Daejeon is offered to operationalize this planning strategy. In particular, the integrated application of the “savings city” and “solar city” concepts where, respectively, citywide deployment of energy efficiency and rooftop photovoltaic energy systems is envisioned at a large-scale, is explored for Daejeon through the innovative use of geospatial assessment methods and a visualization tool that can guide urban policy. This assessment and its visualization illustrates not only grid energy use divisions throughout the city but also reveals possible energy planning trajectories in pursuit of positioning sustainable energy as urban infrastructure. The assessment finds that cities like Daejeon could fulfill over half of their electricity service needs through in-city deployment of sustainable energy at the infrastructure-scale. Cities that embark on this “sustainable city” trajectory essentially reform the lived experience of “the city” and reshape the city-energy relationship.
Principal findings of the research:
- Combined use of rooftop solar and energy efficiency can transform the City of Daejeon to a ‘sustainable city’.
- FREE team, in collaboration with KIER, developed unique visualization technique.