The concept of local sustainable communities (LSCs) pursues a holistic sustainability approach for settlement areas that goes beyond the joint energy generation, use and storage in energy communities. The focus is on dealing with all local resources and includes other needs and requirements of the residents, from mobility to water supply and waste disposal. The Hybrid LSC project, which is being carried out at TU Wien in cooperation with several research and corporate partners1, focuses on a sharing economy. It analyses how energy communities can jointly use other resources or supply and disposal services in addition to sharing (electrical) energy, and which strategies and operating models would be suitable for this. The goal is to achieve the overall sustainability of settlement areas with an optimal mix of technical, economic and social measures. Citizens and stakeholders (municipalities, planning authorities, property developers and other stakeholders) work together to develop these strategies. The concept will be applicable to all types of settlements, both in urban and rural areas, and will have many positive economic, socio-economic and environmental effects.
The project will develop intelligent control strategies to optimise the demand for energy and other supplies such as heating, cooling, mobility, water and waste within a local community, in addition to providing the greatest possible flexibility for the energy system. The technologies needed for these LSCs are largely available on the market (depending on the application). Algorithms and interfaces for integrating and connecting various energy technologies and for further applications are being developed in the project.
First demonstration projects
Various intelligent control strategies are currently being tested at several locations in Austria. In the LSC Puchstraße demo project in Graz (project management: BAR Vermögensverwaltung GmbH), a former industrial area is being transformed into a flexible, efficient Local Sustainable Community. The focus here is on optimised interaction between locally generated renewable energy, energy storage systems and patterns in consumption behaviour. Highly innovative building technologies such as heat pumps that can be fed from different sources and façade-integrated photovoltaics are being used. At the LCS Vienna demo site in a Viennese urban development area (project management: Wien Energie GmbH), a thermally activated building system is functioning, for the first time, as a storage system for the public district heating system. Further demo locations are planned for apartment buildings and housing schemes in Lower Austria and Burgenland.
1 Project partners: Energy Economic Group / TU Wien (project management),
AEE – Institute for Sustainable Technologies, BAR Vermögensverwaltung GmbH, Burgenland Energie AG, Forschung Burgenland GmbH, JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH, NÖ Energie- und Umweltagentur GmbH (eNu), Vereinigung der Österreichischen Zementindustrie, Wien Energie GmbH
The Hybrid LSC project is being carried out under the Green Energy Lab
research initiative as part of the Flagship Region Energy innovation offensive.