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The Institute of Urban Environment makes progress in cross-disciplinary research on coupling energy system and agriculture ecology

Industrial sector accounts for 30% of global energy end-use, which is also be considered as a difficult-to-decarbonize sector. Therefore, system-thinking and comprehensive method are needed to decarbonize it. This research proposes a concept of eco-Industrial Energy System (e-IES) that coupling vegetation on industrial buildings’ rooftops with multi-energy systems. A mathematical optimization-based e-IES evaluation framework is further proposed to achieve co-optimization and optimal decision-making for the Food-Energy-Nexus. To date, the interlink between energy system and agriculture system is relatively weak while this study bridges two fields. Through the biogeochemical simulation tool (DNDC), the growth of 7 crops under 10 planting modes is simulated, and a detailed database of roof agricultural production is constructed. The simulation results are input into the optimization model of e-IES towards co-optimization. Through a case study of e-IES in the industrial park, 5.6% total cost and 16.3% emissions can be saved compared with the empty roof scenario. That means roof planting is a promising option for roof utilization with economic and environmental benefits.

The research successfully realizes the cross-disciplinary interlink of energy, agriculture, and environment, and provides a decision-making tool for the coupling system of energy and agriculture, which indicates a new way for further decarbonization of the industrial sector.

The research output has been published in the top energy journal , with an IF of 9.6. The research was jointly completed by the Institute of Urban Environment Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kings College, Imperial College, and Tongji University. Dr. JING Rui (Assistant researcher) is the first author, and Prof. LIN Jianyi is the co-corresponding author. The research was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (71573242) and the British EPSRC project (ep/n034740/1).

Flowchart of coupling biogeochemical simulation with energy system optimization towards an e-IES

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