Energy in the Future City

At the conference Future City (6th of December 2006, The Hague) the following conclusions were drawn:

• It is recommended to become less dependent from other regions in the world, but entire self-provision is not necessary or desirable. Most achievable seems a ubiquitous grid that not only is based on central generation or distribution yet that can also be fed by decentralised, self-sufficient units.1

1 In his speech to the Dutch industry - Aalsmeer, 14th of October 2008 - former US Vice-President Al Gore referred to this by 'the super grid' onto which everyone can upload and download energy and which should be connected to centralized solar plants in deserts.

• Centralised energy systems are suited for areas with high densities and a good infrastructure. However, we should also dare to develop decentralised systems at the scale of cities, districts, neighbourhoods and even individual buildings.

• We should shift from mono-fuel towards multi-fuel systems, for independence, operational safety and in order to gain more out of local potentials.

• Spatial planning should be directed by energy potentials on a local level and by considerations of exergy ('heat cascading').2 Energy demand and supply should be functionally tuned and balanced.

• Hydrogen is a better medium for energy storage and transport than present alternatives. An economy based on hydrogen can be clean and efficient, as well as sustainable if hydrogen is sustainably produced. It is costly, though.

These conclusions for an important part converge with other studies

(Timmeren, 2006; Noorman et al., 2006; Roggema et al., 2006b).

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