Improving the Robustness of Urban Electricity Networks


The aim is to ensure availability of power supply for critical infrastructures to enable minimal viable operation during large scale power outages or shortages.

To achieve this we are investigating what social, economic and technical components will be needed to ensure that city based power generation and storage are routed and prioritized to enable these critical city functions while other noncritical consumers reduce their electricity load to mitigate vulnerabilities of urban electricity grids by utilizing the flexibility of future smart grids with decentralized generation and smart control.



Develop tools that help city planners and distribution system operators to guide the planning/deployment of smart grid functions needed to optimize power availability for critical infrastructure.


To mitigate security risks in energy systems.
To understand minimum operational power requirements and system dependencies.
To create decentralised energy inventory and support the sharing of power if needed in an equitable and fair way for all city stakeholders.


A quantitative model-based security and dependability evaluation of example use cases to understand cascading effects of the Smart Grids and connected infrastructures..
New means to stop cascading energy system/energy dependent system failures that are initiated either deliberately or accidentally by utilizing islanding of both grid and ICT infrastructure (continuing operation autonomously), and relying on energy storage and production capacity of buildings to maintain island grid operation.
Concepts of reduced supply demand flexibility that ensure sparse energy resources in islanding to be consumed by most critical infrastructures.


In collaboration with our research partners, we are currently working to develop a decision support tool to enable city planners to accurately represent their local power grids and thus understand network resilience under various possible scenarios. The considerations we are addressing in this development, both social and technical, are summarised in this video from JPI Urban Europe, an EU initiative to strengthen research and innovation in urban development and ultimate sponsor of Project IRENE.

Further information on Project IRENE can be found at and for a more detailed explanation of the aims of JPI Urban Europe, click here


In collaboration with »


Austrian Institute of Technology

University of Twente

Università degli Studi di Firenze

Queen Mary University of London


Ethos lead »

Edward Lambert

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