Witteveen+Bos wins World Smart City Expo 2021 award

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Witteveen+Bos has been awarded the World Smart City Expo 2021 (WSCE2021) award for its contribution to the development and revitalisation of the Smart City Industry in South Korea. Over the past two years, Witteveen+Bos collaborated with South Korea on the energy transition, particularly on aqua-thermal energy systems and Zero Energy Buildings (ZEB).

We conducted a feasibility study into the application of an Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) system in the Busan Eco-Delta City region of South Korea, in collaboration with Korean District Heating Engineering Co. Ltd. This project demonstrated that with the very high ambient temperatures in the summer and the high demand for cooling in buildings, the ATES-ZEB solution can make a significant contribution to the decarbonisation of the heating and cooling supply in South Korea’s built environment.

'Storing and recovering thermal energy in aquifers (water-bearing layers) in the subsurface is an innovative way to make the energy system of the built environment more sustainable.'

The storage and recovery of thermal energy in underground aquifers (water-bearing layers) is an innovative way of making energy systems in the built environment more sustainable. It makes the use of low-temperature, variable-heat sources possible in the form of independent or collective systems, as it allows heat production to be spread across the entire year, irrespective of whether heat production and demand correspond. Because underground energy storage operates on the basis of a thermal balancing system – which also requires the storage of cold – the system can also be used to cool buildings. As a result, the system in fact serves two applications: heating and cooling.

South Korea recently announced significant steps to become carbon-neutral by 2060. Until now, the country has been highly dependent on fossil fuels, so this change will require a significant transformation over a relatively short period of time. Witteveen+Bos is working together with the Dutch embassy in Seoul and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency on a market study in South Korea on Zero Energy Buildings and aqua-thermal energy.

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Taco Postma Team lead Energy Transition