High density and mixed use can be considered as key strategic assets of urban areas that help to use energy more efficiently by energy systems integration and compact energy-efficient housing. As they reinforce urban density and mixed use, infill redevelopment strategies make it possible to implement new strategies to decrease the energy and resource intensity of urban communities. The local diversity of building uses and building types induces a local diversity of demand loads. A key issue in improving the efficiency of urban energy systems is an optimal matching of various energy-demand categories with energy-conversion processes. Housing, office, shop, retail or public buildings have very different load profiles. This diversity of load profiles supports the implementation of synergy strategies such as:

  • Peak shaving strategies: as consumption peaks in different buildings types do not happen at the same time of the day, high levels of local mixed use contribute to shaving consumption peaks
  • Cascading strategies consisting in recycle energy flows according to their quality (electricity, mechanical, thermal) to improve the energy process overall.

The Urban Morphology Institute has a strong experience in the field of urban energy planning and contributed to elaboration of the Energy Planning recommendations in the China Urbanization Study. In collaboration with SETEC, the Institute has developped a synergy based approach for a new high-tech cluster in the Moscow region (2.5 million m² including a techno park, data centers, residences, offices, laboratories, one hospital, sport installations). Resting upon synergy strategies, the Institute designed an ad-hoc peak load management strategy, with the following outputs:

  • Cutting CAPEX for gas facilities by 22% (23 million EUR CAPEX savings)
  • Cutting heat peak load by 25 %
  • Cutting gas consumption and carbon emissions by 4.2%
  • Increasing the share of renewable energy by 12%
  • Increasing grid stability and resilience by 4% (by increasing safety margins)