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Newsletter #9 - April 2018

Be part of the change. Two months ago, 230 participants surely experienced the change in Grenoble during our first City-zen Conference! The 3 City-zen days provided an excellent opportunity to be immerged in Grenobleís energy transition: site visits, panels and roundtables including active discussions, citizen's participation and inspiring presentations from other European cities. The program was as diverse and holistic as City-zen's projects are emerging throughout the city. After these days it is safe to conclude: the future looks bright for Grenoble!

Amsterdam is also making large steps ahead, within City-zen and beyond. At the conference, the first monitoring results were presented of some of City-zenís housing renovation projects.

In this newsletter you will learn more about how both cities make their vision on Energy Transition concrete by means of roadmaps that are developed within City-zen. Read the full intro by Sarah Bogaert

Roadmaps and crystal balls at City-zen

How can we guarantee that our cities will be future fit? The answer is that we can’t. Even trying to determine something as basic to daily life as the price of fuel beyond 2030, in the words of Hélène Poimboeuf, Grenoble’s Energy Transition Director, “is like looking into a crystal ball”.

The cities of Amsterdam and Grenoble, however, will not content themselves with palmistry. Through City-zen, each city is mapping that future, from ‘you are here’ to ‘X marks the spot’ and drawing a route between them. During a session at City-zen Days, both cities opened a window into how they are planning for the future.

Using the City-zen approach of gaining a firm understanding of the current situation and creating consensus among all interested parties as to the desired outcomes, these cities have created a guiding vision – for Amsterdam, the roadmap, for Grenoble, the masterplan – laying out the steps to a sustainable future.

Dutch Vehicle to Grid pilot: charge and deliver - World Premiere in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the first city in the world that installed public charge points that can charge electric vehicles and deliver electricity back to the grid by using Vehicle to Grid (V2G) technology. Vehicle to Grid is part of a collaboration between grid company Alliander, technology company Enervalis, NewMotion and innovation platform Amsterdam Smart City ‘City-zen programma’.

With V2G technology, electricity stored in the batteries of electric cars can be made available to the grid at times of high demand. In case of low demand, electric vehicles can be recharged. In the future, electric drivers using this technology can receive a fee for their contribution to the grid. In addition, grid operators can use the storage capacity of electric cars to balance peaks and troughs in energy supply and demand.

The Energy Transition Roadmap to Paris

Both City-zen cities Amsterdam and Grenoble working on their Energy Transition Roadmap. We may call it a coincidence: both approximately 500 km away from the real Paris. The roadmap is for these cities the route to the Paris Agreement. After years of in-depth research, the time has come to start the movement in real time. In this article an update from Amsterdam and Grenoble by Andy van den Dobbelsteen (Professor of Climate Design & Sustainability at TU Delft) and Sylvain Koch-Mathian (Project manager – ‎Grenoble-Alpes Métropole).


City-zen demonstration projects' crucial role in pushing new regulatory frameworks

To realize a clean-energy system, the cityís energy infrastructure and buildings are redesigned and new energy services are developed. These changes naturally meet economic and regulatory friction: laws and regulations are still directed towards the current fossil fuel based system.

Changing the regulatory framework is not straightforward, due to many unanswered questions and a lack of experience. The City-zen demonstration projects play an indispensable role in pushing and developing a new regulatory framework. The same holds true for developing new business models and financial scheme´s: finding suitable and workable financial schemes is often complicated, because new projects require tailor made solutions, new partners and risk analyses.

Based on the 20 City-zen demonstration projects, the past two years Centre for Energy Research at the University of Amsterdam (today located at Utrecht University), DNV GL and La Metro (Grenoble Metropolitan area) worked together to analyze the legal and financial issues the demonstration projects face.

Let's check: is the energy use of our renovated buildings really improving?

Insulation, solar panels, HR glazing and new installations. All over Europe the existing building stock gets updated to become NZEB, a (Nearly) Zero Energy Building. We’d like to know if these renovations live up to their expectations and which investments are the smartest.

Therefore we monitor the energy performance of all buildings within the framework of the City-zen project. In 2016, DNV GL began investigating the energy performance of the renovated buildings in Amsterdam. The so-called monitoring.

This monitoring consists of determining the monthly energy performance for at least one year. We looked at electricity and gas consumption, and the performance of any solar panels. At the beginning of January 2018 there are 48 active addresses where energy data are recorded.

City-zen roadshow - Roeselare, Belgium - April 2018

The City-zen Roadshow will start 23 April in Roeselare, Belgium. International experts will elaborate on the similar objectives and themes the SWAT BK TU Delft students worked on. Together they will open up discussions with citizens, local companies, students and the Stad Roeselare. At the end of the roadshow a carbon neutral and zero energy sustainable city vision on all scales will be the outcome.

WeMakeThe.City - 20-24 June 2018- Amsterdam Metropolitan Area

We make the city is a festival that makes cities better. For five days in a row, urgent everyday challenges in the urban environement will be tackled, together with audience and experts, spread accross different locations in the Amsterdam metropolitan area. With lectures, film screenings, expositions, performances, expert meetings, conversations, labs, maker spaces, and an attractive and active weekend programme for a large and wide audience. For Amsterdam, the metropolitan area, European cities and the rest of the world.


24 - sessions/animations were proposed to all participants within the City-zen Days: 50% were site visits (8 sites visits of City-zenís demos and 4 visits about other interesting local projects), 4 plenary sessions, 1 City-zen projects forum, 3 afterworks, 2 children animations + extra sessions dedicated to City-zen consortium members.

40% - Waternet Bio-refinery: the new sanitation plant is expected to have a CO2 emissions reduction of 40% against a classic sanitation plant: from 765 to 450 ton CO2/year. More info...

80% - To finance the renovation works of the MurMur 1 campaign a specific financial scheme has been set up: Block grants (10 to over 40% of net amount of the works) awarded to all co-owners and individual grants for low-income households. The combination of block grants and individual grants could lead to covering 80% of the renovation costs. More info...

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This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement N° 608702