Energy Modelling as a Trigger for Energy Communities: A Joint Socio-Technical Perspective
Mainstreaming energy communities has been one of the main challenges in the low-carbon transition of cities. In this sense, urban building energy modelling (UBEM) has an untapped role in enabling energy communities, as simulations on urban models provide evidence-based decision support to reduce risks, engage, motivate and guide actors, assert wider policy goals and regulatory requirements. This accelerating role and the potential of UBEM is not sufficiently understood, as research into energy
... ommunity focuses on its barriers and impacts, while the research of UBEM is mainly technologically oriented. This review takes a sociotechnical approach to explore whether UBEM is a technological trigger for energy communities, furthering the conceptual framework of transition management. factors influencing energy community progression in different use-cases and stages of their lifecycle are compiled to assess the affordances of distinct capabilities of prevalent UBEM tools. The study provides a guide for energy community planners to UBEM. It matches different tool capabilities to the various stages of the project lifecycle for the different use-cases, equipping them with the means to accelerate the low-carbon transition of cities from the bottom-up. Finally, the study defines a development trajectory oriented towards application in urban sustainability to a rather new UBEM field.