SPARCS showcases sustainable energy solutions at POWER UP YOUR CITY
15 january 2024
PEDs sustainable energy solutions

SPARCS recently participated in the POWER UP YOUR CITY event, held in Oulu on November 16-17. The summit, organized by Making City, focused on adopting carbon-free energy solutions and driving positive change in urban environments. SPARCS, represented by Mari Hukkalainen from the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, made a key contribution to the event.

The summit began with an introduction to the Making-City project. Making City coordinator Cecilia Sanz Montalvillo provided insights into the project, followed by presentations on Oulu’s Positive Energy District (PED) approach by Samuli Rinne and Klaus Kansala. This was followed by a panel discussion on PED best practices at which Mari Hukkalainen represented SPARCS. During the session, experts from the three lighthouse projects MAKING-CITY, +CityXChange and SPARCS shared their experiences and lessons learned for implementing PED solutions, focusing especially on the context of the Nordic climate and operational environment. Cold winters in the Nordic countries bring additional challenges if aiming for positive energy district balance. This often requires approaching the implementation of so-called virtual PED solutions, where renewable energy is produced outside of the physical PED district and its buildings.

Subsequent sessions delved into capacity building, stakeholder engagement strategies, and a comparative analysis of Oulu’s PED business model. SPARCS actively contributed to these discussions, sharing valuable experiences and insights into sustainable energy solutions.

The second day of the summit included a PED visit to Oulu’s Kaukovanio district, exploring opportunities for replicating the Oulu PED model. The event emphasised the importance of Positive Energy District solutions, to significantly increase local renewable energy production, combined with energy efficiency and energy flexibility, thanks to cutting-edge technologies, renewable sources, and efficient infrastructure.

The Making City team expressed gratitude for the engaging discussions, joint workshops, and insights into the progress of Positive Energy Districts. SPARCS was recognised for its contribution to the panel discussion, providing valuable perspectives on different PED implementations.

The POWER UP YOUR CITY event showcased the transformative concept of PEDs, aiming to create sustainable and energy-positive communities. It provided a platform for professionals to expand their knowledge, explore innovative approaches and technologies, and foster collaboration in the pursuit of sustainable urban development.