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SWEET LANTERN – Living Labs Interfaces for Energy Transition

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The aim of the LANTERN proposal is to co-design, test, validate, and scale up a portfolio of interventions for a user-empowered, decarbonized, resource efficient and sufficient Switzerland. We will achieve it through applied research and development at the interface between markets, technology, policies, and society.

Relevance to the research challenge

The project will assess the relevance of socio-technical aspects, e.g. social practices, use of technologies, norms and context of use with respect to the sustainable energy transition in Swiss households, leisure activities and workplaces. In real-life Living Labs, corresponding new services, programs and policies will be co-designed, tested and validated at different scales (e.g. in homes, institutions, districts, or city level).

Expected impact

The impact will be measured in a holistic and systemic framework that assess techno-economic-social effects to understand how the changes in social practices, policies, and technologies support substantially the reduction of carbon emissions as well as the improved energy efficiency and sufficiency in each Urban Living Lab. The goal is to develop and test pathways to achieve the objectives of the Energy Strategy 2050 and 2050+ and the climate plans in the studied Urban Living Lab areas. The country-wide potential will be established through the development of a strategy for scale-up. The project brings light to pathways which overcome barriers and capturetransition potential by working at system interfaces to move towards sustainable energy futures together.

The project is being carried out in 11 work packages, of which the ZHAW is involved in the following 9 WP’s:

WP 2 Set-up and Scale-up: The effective and coordinated set-up of the proposed Living Labs within LANTERN will be essential to ensure a common approach and level of operational management. Each Living Lab is currently at a different stage of maturity therefore capacity building in terms of how to set up and manage a Living Lab is critical.

WP 3 Living Lab Methodologies: This transversal WP supports the co-design, development and transfer of a methodological framework for the LANTERN consortium. Based on the Living Lab Integrative Process (LLIP) developed at the Energy Living Lab Sion, it will evolve iteratively during the program, using an agile approach, as a meta-process nourished by learning feedback loops from experiments, methods, and tools developed in the different WPs and urban living labs. The WP will focus on the meso- (individual projects within the lab) and micro-level (specific tools and interventions) of the living labs.

WP 4 Smart Energy Users: The objective of WP4 is to better understand the changing roles of energy users and data sharing impact local digitalized energy systems. As users interact with, and allow data collection through, smart systems, it is investigated how shared information and data has an impact on the operational efficiency and flexibility of the energy system. This is investigated in the socio-technical interplay of living and working behaviours within smart (i.e. interconnected, potentially automated, coordinated and multi-purpose technology use) buildings at building-, district- and city-scale living labs.

WP 5 Energy in Work: WP 5 explores energy saving potential of new working models of office jobs, i.e., new ways of where, how, when, and how much people work, with a particular emphasis on efficient and reduced use of working space. We will explore 1) current and emerging working models, 2) implications of different working models for energy use and employees’ and employers’ preferences 3) retrofit concepts supporting new working models as well as develop recommendations and guidelines for target users on promising new working models.

WP 6 Sustainable Mobility: To achieve sustainable and deep decarbonization in Swiss mobility while guaranteeing high quality of life across all social and territorial strata, this WP adopts an avoid-shift-improve-replace approach to co-design with citizens: 1) interventions at the residential and organisational level to reduce CO2 emissions in mobility, 2) a set of interventions and city-level mobility challenge, supported by a digitalized travel planner and 3) interventions and policies fostering the uptake of high-efficiency electric vehicles.

WP 8 Energy Communities and Cooperatives at District Level: WP 8 promotes and accelerates the energy transition at district level in the residential building sector by employing an iterative development process in different livings labs to produce a feasible and tested process of co-design (using the methods toolkit and the morphological box) for creating renewable energy co-operations beyond living labs. This process can be employed by communes, utilities, or private actors to initiate and implement energy communities or co-operatives at district level. Based on the results of co-design processes, WP 8 will identify legal structures to promote energy co-operation which are desirable but not currently feasible.

WP 9 Low-carbon recreational cities: WP 9 in LANTERN addresses the energy impacts of recreation practices and infrastructures. Recreation refers here to the free time spent away from work, domestic chores, and fulfilment of physiologic needs. We target the leisure and tourism practices of citizens, the carbon impact of tourism planning and of sports and culture events.

WP 10 Integrated Impact Assessment: This work package aims at developing, testing and applying an integrated impact assessment that will provide a significant tool to assess the effectiveness of solutions developed in the R&D and P&D work packages in a consistent and longitudinal way. It will combine impact assessments for technological/energy, economic, and social issues and integrate them while taking into account interactions and dynamics.

WP 11 KTT and Communication: The main goal of this work package is to carry out a global project-wide dissemination plan, in order to make the project known to a wider public, beyond typical research and policymakers, and thus support work packages in their communication efforts towards the public. It should also ensure consistency and inclusiveness in communication, and visibility of the project results.

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