Positive Energy Districts

Ongoing (2020 - 2025)


This project is enhancing international co-operation on a positive energy district (PED) development. The basic principle of a PED is to create an area within the city boundaries, capable of generating more energy than is used, and agile / flexible enough to respond to energy market variations. Rather than simply achieving an annual net energy surplus, it should also support minimizing impacts on the connected centralized energy networks by offering options for increasing onsite load-matching and self-use of energy, technologies for short- and long-term energy storage, and providing energy flexibility with smart control.
PEDs can include all types of buildings present in the urban environment and they are not isolated from the energy grid. Within the research community, the PED is an emerging concept intended to shape cities into carbon neutral communities in the near future. Reaching the goal of a PED requires firstly improving energy efficiency, secondly cascading local energy flows by making use of any surpluses, and thirdly using low-carbon energy production to cover the remaining energy use. Smart control and energy flexibility are needed to match demand with production locally as far as practical, and also to minimize the burdens and maximize the usefulness of PEDs on the grid at large.

The project objectives are:

  • Create a shared in-depth definition of a positive energy district by means of a multi-stakeholder governance model.
  • Develop the required information and guidance for implementing the necessary technical solutions that can be replicated and ultimately scaled up to the city level
  • Explore novel technical and service opportunities related to monitoring solutions, big data, data management, smart control and digitalisation technologies as enablers of PEDs.
  • Develop the required information and guidance for the planning and implementation of PEDs

The planned deliverables from this project are: 

  • definitions and key concepts for positive energy districts,
  • methods, tools and technologies for realizing positive energy districts,
  • governance principles and impact assessment for positive energy districts, and
  • case studies on positive energy districts and related technologies

Operating Agents

Francesco Guarino
Assistant Professor
University of Palermo - Department of Engineering
Tel: +3909123861926
Dr. Francesco Reda
Principal Scientist, Smart cities and intelligent buildings
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd.
Tel: +358 40 8403680


Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, P.R. China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK