How can Urban Manufacturing contribute to a more sustainable energy system in cities?

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Tanja Tötzer
Romana Stollnberger
Roland Krebs
Mara Haas


The paper explores future opportunities as well as challenges arising from urban manufacturing (UM) regarding the design of sustainable energy systems for cities. Global trends affect the type of production (e.g. Industry 4.0) as well as the industrial structure (e.g. convergence of services and production) of UM in cities. This causes new requirements but also new options for the urban energy system. The study presented in this paper examines this area of tension and explores not only the potentials of waste heat use, but also additional electricity demand trough steadily advancing digitalisation.

The study illustrates, that over the next few years it will be key to improve the interfaces between actors and sectors: between companies ("energy communities"), between industry and grid/energy supply company/neighbouring settlement areas and between the sectors heat-electricity-gas-mobility through e.g. power-to-x and possible uses of hydrogen. The paper concludes with a concept for integrating urban manufacturing optimally in the urban energy system for a sustainable energy transition in the future.

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