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Building as active elements of energy systems
Mälardalen University, School of Business, Society and Engineering, Future Energy Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5409-8950
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 [en]
smart grid; smart home; cooperation; energy; buildings
National Category
Energy Engineering
Research subject
Energy- and Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-33317ISBN: 978-91-7485-286-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-33317DiVA: diva2:1001607
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
List of papers
1. A comparative study of key stakeholder views on smart homes in Hong Kong and Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A comparative study of key stakeholder views on smart homes in Hong Kong and Sweden
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(English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-33192 (URN)
Available from: 2016-09-21 Created: 2016-09-21 Last updated: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved
2. Buildings as components of smart grids - Perspectives of different stakeholders
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Buildings as components of smart grids - Perspectives of different stakeholders
2014 (English)In: Energy Procedia, ISSN 1876-6102, E-ISSN 1876-6102, Vol. 61, 1630-1633 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper provides the perceptions of the energy and buildings sectors, municipalities and researchers in Sweden about active buildings that provide smart grid services to their inhabitants. As part of this study, we conducted 23 semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders to present the perspectives of stakeholders that are involved in the development process. Our study shows that there are several barriers to development of active buildings and points out the importance of energy policy mechanisms to support the development. It is necessary to introduce new measures in order to financially encourage the stakeholders and motivate the end-users to invest in smart grid technologies. The elimination of the intersectoral barriers and the promotion of cooperation amongst stakeholders could pave the way for a more efficient and smarter grid.

Keyword
Active building, Buildings, Intersectoral, Smart grid
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27566 (URN)10.1016/j.egypro.2014.12.312 (DOI)000375936100364 ()2-s2.0-84922341579 (Scopus ID)
Conference
6th International Conference on Applied Energy, ICAE 2014, 30 May 2014 through 2 June 2014
Available from: 2015-02-19 Created: 2015-02-19 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
3. Cooperation for climate-friendly developments: An analysis of the relationship between the energy and buildings sectors in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Cooperation for climate-friendly developments: An analysis of the relationship between the energy and buildings sectors in Sweden
2016 (English)In: Energy Efficiency, ISSN 1570-646X, E-ISSN 1570-6478, Vol. 9, no 2, 353-370 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Buildings account for more than 40 % of the total energy demand in the European Union (EU). The energy sector is responsible for 80 % of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the EU, of which more than a third are emitted as a result of energy use in buildings. Given these numbers and the large potential for energy savings in buildings, the energy and buildings sectors emerged as key contributors to fulfilling the European climate targets. Effective cooperation between these two key sectors can contribute significantly to the efficacy of the European climate strategy. However, there may be factors that negatively impact the relationship between the energy and buildings sectors and put cooperation in climate-friendly developments at risk. Based on 23 semi-structured interviews and a web survey answered by key stakeholders, this paper provides a snapshot of the current level of cooperation between the energy and buildings sectors in Sweden and identifies factors that impact the interdependencies between the two sectors.

The findings show that the current business models in energy supply and the regulations in place limit the development of mutually beneficial cases between the energy and buildings sectors. This paper contributes to improved knowledge for policymaking that affects both sectors and highlights issues for further study.

Keyword
Buildings sector; energy sector; energy efficiency
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-28689 (URN)10.1007/s12053-015-9369-8 (DOI)000373148300006 ()2-s2.0-84931846830 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 244-2011-231
Available from: 2015-08-11 Created: 2015-08-11 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved
4. Active buildings in smart grids - Exploring the views of the Swedish energy and buildings sectors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Active buildings in smart grids - Exploring the views of the Swedish energy and buildings sectors
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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
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. 

Keyword
Active building, Buildings sector, Demand response, Energy sector, Smart grid
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-31304 (URN)10.1016/j.enbuild.2016.02.017 (DOI)000373751300019 ()2-s2.0-84959252105 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-03-17 Created: 2016-03-17 Last updated: 2017-11-30Bibliographically approved

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