Low emission energy systems in energy efficient districts: Holistic energy planning, analysis and business opportunities: Dissertation

    Research output: ThesisDissertationCollection of Articles


    Many climate and energy policy frameworks are leading to stricter energy efficiency and emission regulations and growing share of renewable energy. These will cause changes to the planning and management of energy systems at the local level. Achieving of energy efficient and sustainable districts requires holistic energy planning and optimal energy management. City planners andmunicipality authorities make many design choices and decisions that significantly impact the energy efficiency and emissions of districts. Energy efficient urban planning can be supported by analysing the energy performance of districts and comparing the environmental impacts of energy system alternatives.
    Holistic design and management of district energy systems were studied as a part of sustainable urban planning. The main research themes were 1) district energy analysis, and 2) business concepts for district energy systems and services. The research builds on 14 energy scenario analyses for real life urban planning cases in Finland and abroad. Then, a practical framework andtool was developed for evaluating holistic district energy systems and their environmental impacts in Finland. The tool shows the impacts of urban planning choices on the annual energy demand of a district and compares the carbon emissions of energy supply alternatives. The results can fosterand support discussion and raise new ideas for alternative district energy systems.
    The near future changes in the foreseen energy transition in cities can make the designing and the management of the district energy systems more complex. Holistic coordination of energy system planning and control are crucial for sustainable district energy systems. New business opportunities are foreseen in the planning and management of local energy systems. District energyservices can be arranged in many different ways depending on the needs of the participating actors and the local operation environment. In this research, a set of business concept elements were developed in a form of a cook book. The business concept elements can be modified and combined to create case-specific business models by accounting for local operation environment, conditions and needs.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor Degree
    Awarding Institution
    • Aalto University
    • Lahdelma, Risto, Supervisor, External person
    • Airaksinen, Miimu, Advisor, External person
    • Kazi, Sami, Advisor
    Award date20 Apr 2018
    Place of PublicationHelsinki
    Print ISBNs978-952-60-7933-2, 978-951-38-8632-5
    Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-7934-9, 978-951-38-8631-8
    Publication statusPublished - 2018
    MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


    • energy system
    • district
    • analysis
    • emission
    • urban planning
    • business model
    • smart energy solutions


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