Expected Results & Impact
The iURBAN platform solution will have an impact on the fields of ICT, energy, construction, civil engineering, smart cities (cities in general) and all the related stakeholders.
One of first and most important drivers for the iUrban project is the quantifiable and significant reduction of energy consumption and CO2 emissions achieved through ICT. An energy efficiency and GHG emissions savings model based on IPMVP, the key indicators for the subsequent validation and evaluation of the impact of iURBAN, will be defined. A cornerstone is to develop a systematic procedure for the validation and evaluation of the impacts resulting from the deployment of the iURBAN smartDSS. This methodology will select several indicators in which the two fundamental parameters to monitor and analyse will be the savings on energy consumption and the reduction of CO2.
Additionally, the iURBAN project will analyse the reasons for the reduction on energy consumption and CO2 emissions following IPMVP protocols, quantifying it as a function of different variables: social awareness, business/economic reasons, integration of ICT tools, the increase in renewables, the optimization of energy distribution, etc. Recent pilot projects have demonstrated that providing users with detailed data on their energy consumption and energy saving suggestions can reduce their consumption by an average of 6,4%, reducing GHG emissions by approximately 2-3%. By adding new features in the smartDSS such as variable prices, demand response and user engagement and new business models, a reduction of 10-20% in primary energy use and 5-10% in GHG emissions is expected in iURBAN city pilots.
Another impact is the adoption of ICT by city authorities as a novel OS following the paradigm of the Internet of Things optimized, tailored for the use and generation of services in Smart Cities. Thus, municipality administrators may access the system for gathering useful information for reporting purposes, taking decisions or simply monitoring trends. Additionally, the smartDSS will be a powerful tool for the development of city policies and strategies.
Additionally, iURBAN will develop a methodology based on IPMVP protocols and will include a Social Cost-Benefit Analysis using social and economic Key Performance Indicators such as the city-level economic impact of lower consumer utility bills, reduced healthcare costs due to less incidences of GHG-related respiratory problems, and reduced congestion in the electrical grid and local job creation. Thus, this methodology will aid in the future exploitation of the system by demonstrating the system’s ROI and its potential as a powerful political tool that city governments can utilize to justify energy policy decisions.
On the other hand, one of the activities planned as dissemination and exploitation is the publication of technical, scientific, commercial and marketing articles authored by the different organizations working in the iURBAN project.
The iUrban project will keep synergies with other national or international research activities via its networking, as well as the consortium partners who have an extensive track record in a wide range of collaborative projects at the local, national and international levels.
In the iUrban project, it is generally assumed that prices of energy from fossil-fuel fired power plants will continue to increase across Europe, causing stakeholders to demand an increasing share of green energy. Awareness of the negative impacts of fossil fuel energy importation and generation is expected to become more widespread as findings are confirmed by further research and related events. Authorities at city, regional and EU levels are using these findings to justify the imposition of stricter regulations which will shape future European energy landscapes. Lastly, deregulation of energy markets will continue to encourage entry of new actors into local energy ecosystems, ensuring more customer-centric, service-oriented offerings.