Assessing the impact of micro-generation technologies on local sustainability

Caterina Brandoni, Alessia Arteconi, Giovanni Ciriachi, Fabio Polonara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


The work addresses the role of local energy planning for the introduction of low carbon policies to achieve challenging climate targets. Taking as reference case an urban area that aims to become Sustainable Community, several initiatives have been assessed. Two target years, 2020 and 2050, have been analysed with the aid of EnergyPlan, an integrated energy system model based on the hourly energy demand and supply able to consider constraints deriving from grid stability. The effects of climate change, defined by a regional climate model, have been analysed in the long-term scenario. The work focuses on the impact of a high share of micro-generation technologies for satisfying the energy demand of the building sector, following an original comprehensive approach that helps a better understanding of the implication of such low carbon policy. Both solar devices and micro-combined heat and power systems have been taken into account, the latter covering different technologies (i.e. internal combustion engines, Stirling engines, microturbines and fuel cells). Results show that the use of a high share of micro-generation technologies can help to reduce CO2 emissions and enable an increase in large-scale intermittent renewable production, only if a coordinated local energy plan combined with an optimal operation strategy is pursued. Moreover the work outlines the importance of developing an integrated energy system for introducing such technologies that can help to: (i) decarbonise the building sector, (ii) increase energy security and iii) postpone the investments in new network capacity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1281-1290
Number of pages10
JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Nov 2014


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