WP2: Renewable Energy Systems from Building to District Scale


One of the least-costly and most efficient solutions in reducing emissions and primary energy demand is the development of modern low-carbon district energy systems in cities. Our aim is to provide and demonstrate technology solutions from building to district level with high shares of renewables, which can balance renewable resources potentials and actual energy demands not only net annually, but also on shorter time periods from diurnal to seasonal periods. This requires first solutions at individual building scale to reduce the high number of fossil fuel based building energy systems (currently 65%), and second integration at district level to enable use of local resource (e.g. solar energy, lakes, ambient heat, waste heat), storage potentials (e.g. bore hole fields) and optimally distribute and exchange them within a district through Multi-Energy Grids (i.e. combined thermal, electrical and gas grid), within an Energy Hub framework.

The overall objectives of work package 2 are to be reached:

  • By developing Renewable Distributed Energy Systems
  • By innovative energy systems control and management at district level
  • By demonstrating the application potentials of Renewable Distributed Energy Systems technologies


Renewable Distributed Energy Systems (RDES) are developed from building to district scale, for existing buildings and quarters as well as for new projects. Concepts focus on a systemic approach that considers factors such as retrofitting, phased development, long operational life times, future technologies and possible changes in building use, energy markets and climate conditions. Integration of fluctuating renewables requires also new RDES control algorithms. Consequently, we develop models, design and operational tools, validated with test results and apply them in demonstration projects. Proof-of-concepts reduce the implementation risks for the industry and accelerate dissemination.

Research topics for holistic RDES developments focus on Building Energy Systems solutions suitable for the Swiss building stock, e-mobility integration, new Multi-Energy-Grid / Energy Hub technology solutions integrating long term storage technologies, and control approaches considering Internet of Things (big data).