Developing a scenario calculator for smart energy communities in Norway: Identifying gaps between vision and practice

Elsevier, Sustainable Cities and Society, Volume 46, February 2019.
Authors: 
Harald Taxt Walnum, Åshild Lappegård Hauge, Karen Byskov Lindberg, Mads Mysen, Brita Fladvad Nielsen, Kari Sørnes

Key Performance Indicators are important instruments, both in defining high-level goals (international or national) and when planning smart energy communities. However, there is often a gap between the high-level goals, and possible and planned measures on the community level. Evaluation of development scenarios against a defined set of indicators and goals can help urban planners and other stakeholders understand the consequences of their strategies. This article presents a scenario calculator designed to link detailed measures with overall climate goals. This tool has been developed in interaction between researchers and potential user groups, through a series of interviews and workshops, in addition to testing of the tool in specific case studies. General feedback has been positive, but several barriers remain before community planners can employ such a tool in their working process and make it count in their decisionmaking processes: 1) community planners lack commitment to the overall environmental visions set by policymakers, and 2) community planners have no legal power to influence actual community development.