Implementation of Solar Energy in Eco-Cities

The purpose of this study is to investigate the potential of implementing solar energy and solar technology systems in the energy systems of two conceptual Eco-Cities, as a possible way of tackling the inherent problems in global urbanization and contributing to a sustainable future.

The cities are formed as one suburb to Sydney in Australia, and one suburb to Stockholm in Sweden. Studying the implementation of solar energy in a small-scale suburb is seen as a step towards integration in a large-scale city.

The two areas were chosen in order to investigate the influence of different climates and other regional conditions on the possibility of integrating solar energy in an Eco-City.

The thesis examines the Eco-City concept and different solar technologies, and the method used comprises environmental, technical and economic analyses. The study investigates the energy demands of different types of buildings, and their possibility to be self-sufficient in electricity and hot water supply through installing photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors at the building envelope. The demand coverage and costs of the solar technology systems are then compared, in economic terms, with the case of only purchasing energy to provide hot water and electricity.

The analysis shows that solar energy has a good chance of constituting an important part of an Eco-City’s energy system and contributing to a sustainable future. But the benefits are dependent on the environment in which the city is planned to be developed.

In Sydney, both electricity from photovoltaic panels, and hot water from solar thermal collectors, have the possibility to lead to large cost savings and a healthier urban environment. In Stockholm, where the irradiation and energy prices are lower and the current energy supply is more environmentally friendly, it is harder for solar energy to constitute a large part of the energy system.
Source: KTH
Author: Nestius Svensson, Olivia | Svensson, Elin

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