Maarten De Groote, Activity Leader Smart Energy & Built Environment, VITO / ENERGYVILLE, with 20 years of experience in the energy transition of the built environment, discusses the critical need for private finance in scaling up Positive Energy Neighbourhoods (PENs). As Activity Leader at VITO/EnergyVille, he leads the oPEN Lab project, focusing on the transition to PENs. PENs are urban neighbourhoods designed for surplus production of renewable energy through integrated and aggregated energy solutions. The interview in Build UP highlights the four levels of integration in PENs and emphasises the importance of stakeholder engagement.
The economic benefits of PENs include cost savings through renovation project aggregation, attractiveness to investors, and potential revenue from selling aggregated excess energy. De Groote stresses the societal benefits, such as improved indoor environment quality, safety, health, and overall quality of life, which contribute to increased demand for PENs. He also discusses the threat of economic trends impacting renovation projects, necessitating a more substantial contribution from private finance.
Read the full interview here Maarten De Groote: “Scaling up PENs will require a more substantial contribution from private finance” | BUILD UP (europa.eu)