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“Efficacity”: smart management of electric and thermal flows in cities

Sustainable mobility
04/03/2015

Train stations, city blocks, heat recovery, micro co-generations… “Efficacity”, France’s first institute dedicated to energy transition in urban areas, explores cities’ energy efficiency. GDF SUEZ and COFELY Services contributed to the creation of this place of scientific and technical excellence, nestled within the Cité Descartes, in Marne-la-Vallée (Seine et Marne, France). Over a hundred researchers should unveil the results of their work by the end of 2015.

Optimizing urban projects in their design phase, thus reducing their energy consumption and their carbon footprint, such are the missions of Efficacity in line with GDF SUEZ’ research and development programs. The Group, together with 27 private and public partners, is a member of the Efficacity consortium. 

Cities totalize two thirds of energy consumption and approximately 50% of greenhouse gas emissions. They are subject to many researches in the field of eco-innovation. “To help cities go through energy transition, Efficacity uses an innovative approach”, explains Michel Salem-Sermanet, Efficacity’s CEO. The “crème de la crème” of French public and private skills are gathered at the Cité Descartes in Marne-la-Vallée. “Efficacity is equally interested in usage and behaviors as it is in technology; that explains why our team gathers a hundred engineers and energy experts but also sociologists, town planners and economists”, he adds.

Innovation focuses on electric and thermal flows’ smart management. Therefore the institute currently works on the opportunity to implement geo-thermal networks within the foundations of Greater Paris’ new train stations, part of which will be underground. Among Efficacity’s other research projects feature: the valorization of decentralized energy production (co-generation, photovoltaic), the recovery of urban fatal heat (incineration plants, datacenters, wastewater treatment plants), the multi-criteria assessment of urban projects as well as the design of urban projects’ assessment tools providing cost-benefit analysis.

Source: Hugo Whitemore