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Renewable energy and energy storage

Renewable Energy and Energy Storage

Challenges/ Barriers facing


  • Electricity net capacity insufficient to cope with more data centres

Social & behavioural

  • Public opinion on environmental issues
  • Engagement and commitment of property owners
  • Convincing local decision makers to support implementation

Finance & business model

  • Conventional energy price is too low to make higher efficiency / renewable energy solutions financially feasible – business models are difficult to draw up
  • Limited availability of financial resources

Competences & risks

  • Innovative solutions need more explanation both towards construction practitioners as towards end-users
  • Lack of innovation within municipalities and utility companies
  • Inertia of public utility

Regulatory & juridical

  • Regulations regarding solar PV panels
  • Regulations regarding electricity: to be used in the building were it has been produced, and can not be sold tax-free to tenants


  • Multi stakeholder processes take time
  • Discrepancy between political and business decisions and goals
  • Lack of political backing and funding
  • Cope with public demands and assign responsibilities
  • Setting up contracts with suppliers and data centre owners
  • Energy utility’s transition towards renewable energy is a slow process


Incentives/ Policy recommendations/ Suggestions/ Best Practices

Policy recommendations

  • Take away subsidies for CO2 emitting and nuclear energy production
  • Implement a fossil fuel tax
  • Get rid off barriers related solar PV electricity production
  • Introduce an electricity certification system to support electricity produced from renewables

User incentives

  • A good design and communication result in less protest

Best practices & suggestions

  • Organise study visits to frontrunners
  • Show well documented best practices (use cases, fact sheets from lighthouse cities)
  • Involve stakeholders (public administration, construction companies and practitioners, researchers, end-users and associations) from beginning
  • Make use of peak shaving, demand response and energy management systems
  • Use solar power to power technical solutions/equipment during summer time
  • Make sure to have support from the governmental level
  • Support pilot projects
  • Apply district cooling for large facilities
  • Use waste heat to feed district heating networks

Plan for Implementation (Next Steps)

  • Designing a modular (growing) low temperature district heating system
  • Connecting swimming pool to excess heat sources such as data centres
  • Rolling out district heating network in the whole city to obtain peak shaving
  • Organising site visits and having more information exchange between Lighthouse Follower Cities to overcome resistance
  • Combining low temperature heating network with seasonal storage in heat bed rock
  • Setting priorities to maximise impact
  • Increasing the use of waste heat and the share of solar PV electricity used by the municipality
  • Trying to lower the peaks in the electricity network
  • Rolling out a hybrid system with solar thermal, PV and geothermal
  • Securing functionality of solutions
  • Including research institutions
  • Getting the support from city energy and climate program
  • Initiating governmental incentives for investments
  • Creating visually attractive material to present and convince decision makers
  • Simulating district heating networks to optimise district heating substations
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