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Digital Subscriptions > Cities Today > Issue 21 > Modular energy systems: building the Internet of electricity

Modular energy systems: building the Internet of electricity

Distributed energy systems are typically used to produce energy in locations too remote or costly to be considered worth connecting to the grid. The City of Freiburg is bringing these self-governing systems much closer to home

At 51 metres tall, the mixed-use Smart Green Tower will not be the tallest structure in Freiburg when its construction is completed in the freight yard to the north of the city, in approximately one year from now. Neither will it be the first attempt by the municipality to create sustainable urban living spaces.

Emboldened by the need to rebuild most of the city after the Second World War, and empowered by the rejection of nuclear power in the 1970s, many of Freiburg’s 220,000 residents have been engaged in optimising energy use.

The Freiburg Municipal Council has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, and has played a critical role in supporting regeneration initiatives like the 300-hectare Green Industry Park Freiburg, where the Smart Green Tower is set to become the centrepiece of an initiative that is turning the oldest industrial area in the city into an energy and resource-efficient business district.

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