This research area concentrates on developing digital solutions that investigate synergies between energy demand patterns and the availability of renewable energy supply, with the ultimate goal of providing citizens with affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy in urban and community settings. It seeks to create intelligent, interconnected, and resilient urban energy systems that optimize resource use, reduce environmental impact, and enhance the quality of life for residents.
Key areas of investigation within Smart Cities and Communities include:
- Urban energy system modeling and planning: Developing advanced modeling techniques, simulation tools, and data-driven analytics to comprehensively analyze urban energy systems, identify efficiency opportunities, and design integrated, sustainable, and resilient energy strategies for cities and communities.
- Distributed energy resources and microgrids: Investigating the role of distributed energy resources, such as solar PV, wind, energy storage, and electric vehicles, in enhancing urban energy system flexibility and resilience, as well as exploring the potential of microgrids and local energy communities for self-sufficient and decentralized energy management.
- Demand-side management and energy efficiency: Designing digital platforms, tools, and algorithms that facilitate demand response, load balancing, and energy efficiency improvements in urban settings, empowering citizens and businesses to actively participate in energy management and contribute to the optimization of the overall energy system.
- Smart mobility and transportation: Developing innovative digital solutions for sustainable and efficient urban mobility, including intelligent transportation systems, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and integrated multi-modal transportation networks that reduce energy consumption, emissions, and congestion.
- Public policy and stakeholder engagement: Analyzing the role of public policy, regulatory frameworks, and stakeholder engagement in promoting the adoption and integration of smart energy solutions in urban environments, with a focus on creating inclusive, equitable, and participatory decision-making processes that address the diverse needs and priorities of city residents.
By focusing on these critical aspects of smart cities and communities, the research aims to contribute to the development of innovative, sustainable, and people-centered urban energy solutions that support the transition towards a low-carbon, high-quality, and resilient urban future.