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Society’s approach to energy is changing, affected by factors such as technical advances, price and availability of energy sources, pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, urbanisation, evolving living habits and climate change. In many countries, increased urbanisation and extreme climatic events are intensifying the challenge of meeting energy demands in cities.
Energy solutions that use greater shares of renewable energy such as wind and solar power represent a promising path, while decentralised systems promise higher integration of renewable energy sources in urban areas and cities.
Managing energy systems with greater proportions of renewables and decentralised generation can be challenging. The nature of renewable sources and variations in weather conditions and peak loads can create an imbalance between generation and demand. Paradigm changes in energy system design, energy markets and energy policy are required to ensure demand levels and targets are met. Energy systems need flexibility to handle variations in demand and generation, along with sufficient reliability and robustness to cope with extreme weather and peak loads.
One of the potential solutions for higher integration of renewables is Energy-Hub (EH), which is a functional unit capable of transforming, conditioning and storing several kinds of energy. It is possible to connect EHs to each other and/or to the conventional energy grid, covering the energy demand of several urban areas and cities. In this lecture, Professor Nik will present results from recent studies on EH in Switzerland and Sweden, explaining the potential and challenges of installing and using these systems in the urban space.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Associate Professor Vahid Nik, Lund University in Sweden
Vahid M. Nik is an Associate Professor (Docent) at the division of Building Physics, Lund University and the division of Building Technology, Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. His background is in Mechanical Engineering, focused on Energy Conversion and Fluid Dynamics. After receiving his PhD in Building Physics from Chalmers University of Technology in 2012, he was a postdoctoral fellow at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland before joining Lund University in 2014.
Professor Nik leads and supervises major projects on Climate Change and Retrofitting Buildings and Adaptation of Buildings and Energy Systems to Uncertain Future Conditions in Sweden – funded by the Swedish Research Council Formas – and on Future Energy Efficient Buildings and Districts in Switzerland, funded by the Commission for Technology and Innovation. He also is a Management Committee member of the European Union’s COST Action CA16114. An Associate Editor of the Journal of Frontiers in Built Environment, he reviews for more than 10 journals in the fields of energy, buildings and climate change. His research interests are impact assessment of climate change, energy efficiency in buildings, simulation and assessment of the hygrothermal performance of buildings, urban physics, infrastructure physics, energy systems, statistical and probabilistic analysis.
This lecture proudly supports Institute for Future Environments research on Infrastructure for Sustainable Communities.