Stockholm Royal Seaport

Sustainability Report

Running Updated: 13/02/2024

Cities4PEDs: Cities for positive energy districts

Low-energy buildings are being built in Stockholm Royal Seaport that are more energy-efficient than what is required by the Swedish Building Regulations (BBR). An early system study examined the most effective level for developing a fossil-free energy system – building, area, or city. A developer in Stockholm Royal Seaport has built two plus-energy buildings, i.e. buildings that produce more energy on and within the building than what it actually uses.

In the Cities for Positive Energy Districts (Cities4PEDs) project, Stockholm, together with Brussels and Vienna, has investigated how energy-positive areas can be created. Due to the requirements and monitoring carried out in Stockholm Royal Seaport, it is now relatively well-known what can be done for buildings, but less has been done at the area level. Research has not previously been conducted into how a positive energy balance can be achieved at the area level, how system boundaries should be drawn, and which measures can and should be included.

To create energy-positive areas, collaboration is required between measures on and within buildings and public spaces. If a broader implementation of energy-positive areas is to become possible, more focus is needed on legal, institutional, and organisational issues, as well as the major developers, i.e., the cities, needing to develop effective instruments and structures.

Purpose and goal

The purpose of Cities4PEDs is to further develop knowledge related to how energy-positive districts, known as PEDs, can be implemented. The goal is to develop tools and knowledge and identify instruments that can be used to facilitate cities’ implementation of PEDs.

The project will do this by:

  • Developing and testing what an energy-positive district is – concept and definition
  • Identifying the regulations, financial instruments, and organisational conditions required to ensure feasibility – from early planning to implementation
  • Developing methods to engage with citizens and business stakeholders

Results and experiences

By participating in the project, Stockholm Royal Seaport has explored the potential of developing Loudden into a fossil-free and energy-positive district. The study shows that it is possible to supply the area with heating and cooling, but producing the electricity needed in the area is challenging and expensive with current technology. There are several possible innovative solutions available. For example, sorting wastewater systems and recycling waste heat in greywater could meet the area's hot water needs, and storing residual waste in caverns could serve as a form of seasonal storage.

The work has also resulted in a number of reports and findings:

  • "Positive Energy District (PED) Atlas" is a mapping of seven different energy-positive areas and projects that have been carried out.
  • "Goals and Relevant Aspects of a Common Definition" is a draft definition.
  • "Enabling PEDs through City Instruments" deals with organisational, legal, and institutional aspects.
  • "Toward Co-Ownership and inclusive PED Development" covers processes for citizen dialogue.
  • "PED-guide", a handbook for planning energy-efficient neighbourhoods, will be published in spring 2023.
Close up of a PED guide book.
A PED guide will be published in 2023
Four images showing people dicussing in workshops.
Workshop in Stockholm Royal Seaport, summer 2022
Related document and further reading:

News: Stockholm Royal Seaport participates in EU project on energy-positive districts

(City of Stockholm, Stockholm Royal Seaport )

External website: Pre-order PED-guide (Swedish only)

(Architecture Workroom Brussels)

External website: Energy Cities - Cities 4PEDs

(The European Learning Community for future-proof cities)