Urban Innovation Actions - RE/SOURCED


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Develop a circular, medium and self-sufficient energy system: Renewable Energy SOlutions for URban communities based on Circular Economy policies and Dc backbones– 7 partners – Intercommunale Leiedal – medio 2023

Project description

The aim of RE/SOURCED is to design and demonstrate a circular midscale and self-sufficient energy system in an urban environment. The project is implemented on a vast and multifunctional heritage site called ‘Transfo’, consisting of (social) family housing, offices, a microbrewery, event spaces and leisure and sporting facilities.

The backbone of the system is a DC (direct current) power grid, linking a collective set of distributed renewable resources (PV and wind) and energy storage (second-life batteries, vehicle-to-grid and pumped and flywheel storage in existing structures) The DC power grid offers efficiencies both in terms of energy savings (less power waste because of fewer conversions from DC to AC) and material use (up to 33% more capacity with the same amount of metals). Sharing of production and storage capacities, deployed at distributed locations, brings significant capacity savings, both in terms of required materials and cost. The recycling opportunities of PV and retrofitting and refurbishment of wind turbines are, front and foremost, criteria in the circular procurement procedures.

A renewable energy co-operative, in which all site users have a share, will manage the infrastructure and co-operation. Sharing energy production and storage facilities enables the community to obtain the same level of self-sufficiency with far fewer materials and also enables local balancing through demand-side management.
Citizens, schools and professionals will be invited to experience the advantages of the DC circular smart grid, raising awareness throughout civil society. A training package for professionals will enable other cities to adopt integrated circular energy systems.


These are the objectives of RE/SOURCED:

  • An increased share of renewable energy through community-shared solutions.
  • Downscaled and rationalized renewable energy production and storage facilities, providing identical services for its users.
  • A reduced need for raw materials and higher adoption of certified circular products in (shared) renewable energy systems.
  • Enriched insights on the part of consumers and citizens into the benefits of (shared) renewable energy systems and awareness of available technologies.
  • More renewable energy professionals willing to introduce circular economy policies in renewable energy projects.

Role of Ghent University

To develop a backbone in direct current that connects all these sources together with contemporary storage systems. The development of such a DC backbone will create an optimally integrated network with minimal losses while maximizing the use of renewable energy

Dutch summary

Om onze klimaatambities waar te maken, is er - onder meer - nood aan een energietransitie.

Belgische overheden zien daarbij een belangrijke rol weggelegd voor middelgrote en individuele hernieuwbare energiesystemen.
Deze systemen zijn echter niet altijd even energie- of kostenefficiënt. Bovendien is zo'n energietransitie behoorlijk materiaalintensief, wat soms voor conflicterende uitdagingen kan zorgen.

Het project RE/SOURCED probeert hier op schaal van de Transfosite in Zwevegem een antwoord op te vinden, door:

  • Een circulair, middelgroot en zelfvoorzienend energiesysteem in de huidige stedelijke context uit te werken
  • Transfo uit te bouwen tot de energiewijk van de toekomst, aan de hand van duurzame energiebronnen
  • Bewoners en verbruikers te verenigen in een energiegemeenschap, en hun boodschap te helpen verspreiden

French summary

Pour réaliser nos ambitions climatiques, nous avons besoin - entre autres - d'une transition énergétique.

Les gouvernements belges considèrent que les systèmes d'énergie renouvelable individuels et de taille moyenne ont un rôle important à jouer dans ce domaine. Cependant, ces systèmes n'ont pas toujours la même efficacité énergétique ou économique. De plus, une telle transition énergétique est assez gourmande en matériaux, ce qui peut parfois entraîner des défis contradictoires.

Le projet RE/SOURCED tente de trouver une réponse à cette question à l'échelle du Transfosite de Zwevegem, en.. :

  • Développer un système énergétique circulaire, de taille moyenne et autosuffisant dans le contexte urbain actuel
  • Faire de Transfo le quartier énergétique de l'avenir, basé sur des sources d'énergie durables.
  • Unir les résidents et les consommateurs au sein d'une communauté énergétique et contribuer à la diffusion de leur message.




Prof. Jan Desmet
Department TW08
Phone number: +32 56 32 20 32