A Nearly Net-Zero Exergy District as a Model for Smarter Energy Systems in the Context of Urban Metabolism
The planning of urban settlements requires a targeted approach towards more sustainable energy, water, and environment systems. This research work analyses the city of Uppsala and a district that is an urban renewal project at the site of former high voltage power lines, namely Östra Sala backe, which will have a new energy concept. The latter is analysed based on proposals for two phases that aim to reach a net-zero district target based on the quality of energy (exergy). An indicator set with five main categories is introduced based on per capita values to enable a comparable basis between the scales of the city and the district, including exergy per capita as a new indicator. The present status of Uppsala is further analysed based on Sankey diagrams to provide insight into the present urban metabolism of the city. The results indicate that the best practice values of Östra Sala backe based on phase two can achieve significant savings in per capita values, which include 5.5 MWh of energy usage, 6.1 MWh of exergy consumption, 33 m3 of water consumption, 22 kg of waste generation, and 4.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Additional scenarios for Uppsala indicate that the district can be about 10 years ahead of the city’s existing performance.