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GDC Award 2017-copyAmsterdam will be walking away with the GDC 2018 award for the City-ZEN ‘virtual power plant’, a project which puts green energy into the grid and money into residents’ pockets at the same time.

The City-ZEN project not only stabilises the local grid in the neighbourhood but also decreases the societal cost of the energy transition locally” said Jan Willem Eising, project coordinator, accepting the award.

The virtual power plant is an online platform which puts together the solar energy that residents are creating and consuming, storing the surplus locally. This allows residents who are generating their own solar energy in their homes and sell it on the open market! So far, more than 40 households have taken part in the initiative in the Dutch capital’s district of Niew-West.

This project delivered impressively on GDC’s selection criteria by putting citizens at the centre of ICT innovation, enabling them through technology to improve their own quality of life by bring the city closer to its green goals. Most importantly, this engaging method of incentivising solar energy production among citizens is highly reclable – there is little to prevent every city in Europe from implementing their own version of this programme. Indeed, we hope they will!

GDC-Award2017-priceThe jury, which consisted of Miimu Airaksinen (VTT, Finland); Jan Dictus (GOJA Consulting, Austria); and Cristobal Irazoqui (European Commission, DG CNECT), were very impressed with all the case studies submitted to the Green Digital Charter’s annual publication.

Two other projects stood out. Bristol’s REPLICATE project, piloted through 150 ‘smart homes’, is an energy demand management scheme that monitors and controls energy use in order to level out peak demand. Dublin’s iSCAPE project uses ‘passive control systems’ to reduce the impact of air pollution in urban spaces, in combination with policy interventions and creating behavioural changes in citizens’ lifestyle.

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The results are in!

Three cities have been selected from all the fantastic case studies submitted to the Green Digital Charter’s annual publication. All participating cities will be immortalised in 2018’s case studies collection, but only one will walk away with first prize during the ‘Imagine the Urban Future: Innovation, Collaboration, Trust conference organised by GDC and EUROCITIES KSF on 23 January 2018 in Brussels.

And the shortlisted GDC signatory cities are …

Amsterdam, with the City-Zen Project presents the virtual power plant, an online ICT-platform which aggregates people’s production and consumption of solar energy and stores the surplus locally, allowing its citizens to sell home-generated green energy on the open market. So far, more than 40 households have taken part to the initiative in the Dutch capital’s district of Nieuw-West.

Energy is also the core topic of the second finalist’s case study, the City of Bristol, where, in the framework of the REPLICATE project, an energy demand management scheme will be put in place to monitor and control energy use allowing to level out peak demand. The system will be piloted through 150 “smart homes”, having the opportunity to test “connected or smart appliances”.

The third finalist is Dublin, showcasing the iSCAPE project, aimed at improving the smart control of air pollution in Europe. In order to more efficiently reduce the impact of air pollution, this project comes out with a mixed approach focusing on the use of “Passive Control Systems” in urban spaces, on policy interventions and behavioural changes of citizens lifestyle.

 

Meet the jury

A jury consisting of Miimu Airaksinen (VTT, Finland); Jan Dictus (GOJA Consulting, Austria); and Cristobal Irazoqui (European Commission, DG CNECT) will decide which of the shortlisted projects scores best on the use of ICT, the effectiveness in meeting the city’s targets, and the involvement of citizens and civils society stakeholders.

Join at the ‘Imagine the Urban Future: Innovation, Collaboration, Trust’ conference on 23 January to learn more about all the innovative projects cities are carrying out, and to see which one carries off first prize!

Registration are still open at http://bit.ly/2k4yzZG.

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