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Artelys Crystal City


Build your local energy strategy

In these times of energy transition, local decision makers are facing new planning issues, in which an additional dimension needs to be accounted for: the energy aspect. Working on energy consumptions, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, ensuring a well-coordinated development of distribution networks, making the most of local renewable potentials, are as many challenges to address in a context of growing decentralization. Used for the design of the local energy schemes of the Métropoles of Lyon (1,3 m inhabitants) and Grenoble (400 000 inhabitants), Artelys Crystal City provides a comprehensive support for local authorities to assess, optimize, monitor and communicate their local multi-energy development plan.

A decision-support tool

Artelys Crystal City is a multi-sector and multi-energy analysis tool, designed to identify the main energetic issues and opportunities that are specific to your territory, and assess the economic and environmental impacts of medium/long term (5 to 30 years) energy planning scenarios.

Based on comparative analyses and a wide range of result visualization features, local authorities can define strategies to:

Minimize pollutant emissions at the lowest cost,
Ensure a well-coordinated development of energy distribution networks,
Improve energy efficiency on their territory,
Deal with energy bills of their fellow citizens,
Anticipate the energetic impacts of land use planning policies,
Control local vulnerability to fossil fuel prices.

The fine degree of modelling offered by Artelys Crystal City helps you account for structural change in your local energy system (land use development, distribution network extensions, demand-side management, penetration of renewable energies…), but also for the increasing deployment of innovative solutions (storage, load shedding, smart grid, recharging infrastructure for electric vehicles, etc.)

Thanks to integrated libraries of planning actions and indicators, you can build and simulate your own scenarios in complete autonomy!

A tool for energy data capitalisation

Based on the construction of a comprehensive local energy model, Artelys Crystal City ensures consistency and sustainability of your local energy data within a single tool. From primary energy supplies to final consumption uses, also including local producers, distribution networks or downstream-counter-equipments, any information on your energy system can be accessed by a simple click, in the form of various maps, diagrams or tables.

A monitoring tool

During the action plan implementation phase, Artelys Crystal City enables you to carry out the follow-up of your real energy trajectory, and to compare it to the planned one.

A consultation-support tool

Designed to be used by everyone and to accelerate competency improvement, Artelys Crystal City follows you all along your planning process, from the identification of main issues to the follow-up of your action program implementation. The overall usability of the visual interface is a major asset for your results sharing experience with all stakeholders: local politicians, other local technical units, private or institutional players…

Artelys Crystal City provides a global vision of the local energy system, including the identification of the specific issues and the definition of its determining factors. Thanks to a variety of visualization and comparative analysis tools, you can compare several possible futures and define a strategy at the desired horizons (ex: 2020, 2030, 2050).

Modeling the energy chain in a comprehensive way


Understanding the structure of consumption requires to distinguish and analyse different consumer types, energy uses and energy carriers supplying these uses. This whole chain is modeled by Artelys Crystal City at the finest level of detail:

A thin geographic breakdown: IRIS zones from the French institute of statistics (INSEE)*
Detailed consumer types: residential typologies by house/flat and age of building, 8 tertiary sectors, industry, transport by mode, agriculture, public lighting…
Energy uses: heating, domestic hot water, cooking, specific electricity, air-conditioning, thermal industrial uses, etc.
A full library of downstream-counter-equipments: electric convectors, gas/domestic fuel/wood boilers, hot water tank, micro cogenerations, aerothermal/geothermal heat-pump, etc.

Energy uses by consumer type are characterized by an average annual behavior (reference annual consumption) and a consumption profile at the hourly time-step. Model calibration is based on advanced methods of statistical reconciliation between urban data (dwellings, jobs, etc.), various national data (ADEME, CEREN, profiles extracted from Recoflux data by ENEDIS, etc.) and local data (provided inter alia by network operators and local monitoring centers, at the IRIS or building scale).

Some « emblematic » buildings (hospitals, data centers, industrial sites, public buildings…) can be represented as individual consumers in the model, and geo-localized on the map.

Cartographic representation of consumption Cartographic representation of consumption

Cartographic representation of consumption (including « emblematic » consumers)

* Sub-municipal geographic breakdown containing 1 800 to 5 000 inhabitants (« Habitat » zones), > 1 000 employees and at least twice as many employees as residents (« Activity » zones) or wide and sparsely populated zones (« Diverse » zones).


Local production and imports

Artelys Crystal City includes a library of local production assets:

Waste incineration plant with energy recovery
Gas/fuel/wood boiler for urban heating
Hydroelectric powerplant
Cogeneration plant
Photovoltaïc production

These assets are characterized by a set of operation parameters: yield, fuel price and CO2 content, feed-in tariff, availability profile, etc. The productions are estimated at an hourly time-step in order to account for the intermittence of some of these productions, but also for possible opportunities of demand flexibility.

Map visualization of local producers

Map visualization of local producers


Based on an aggregated modeling of distribution networks (power, gas, urban heating, cold), Artelys Crystal City simulates the local supply-demand balances, taking into account the technical characteristics and operational constraints such as yield, capacity of power source sub-stations, catchment areas… This enables to identify the possible points of tension and to anticipate reinforcement needs.

Areas of local supply-demand balances

Areas of local supply-demand balances

Simulating the system

Based on a powerful mathematical optimization engine, Artelys Crystal City simulates, year by year and at the hourly time-step, the optimal management of the energy generation fleet, of downstream-counter-equipments and their flexibility potentials (peak sheddings, control of electric vehicle charging…), as well as all energy storage assets.

Simplified representation of the whole energy system as modelled by Artelys Crystal City

Simplified representation of the whole energy system as modelled by Artelys Crystal City

Building local energy scenarios

Adopting a local energy strategy doesn’t go without the construction and assessment of several possible futures, taking into account local structural changes such as land use development, evolutions of energy prices and of power CO2 content, construction of new energy infrastructures, or energy use evolutions.

In order to model these changes and build the associated prospective visions, Artelys Crystal City resorts to a wide library of planning actions, which you can use in complete autonomy to build, simulate and assess your own scenarios:

New buildings / urban development projects
Economic development
Trend-based evolution of energy uses (specific electricity, air-conditioning, …)
Replacement of downstream-counter equipments
Demand-side management programs (energy renovation, energy sobriety, improvement of energy efficiency)
Changes in energy carrier
New energy infrastructures (extension/densification of distribution networks, new production plants, etc.)

With Artelys Crystal City, you can also perform sensitivity analysis according to several land use development strategies.

Selection of actions modelsChoice and modification of parameters

Selection of actions models & Choice and modification of parameters

Assessing scenarios in a techno-economic and environmental approach

In order to assess the different scenarios, Artelys Crystal City provides a comprehensive set of techno-economic, environmental and social indicators. Here is a non-comprehensive list:

Final/primary energy consumptions
Final/primary energy consumptions per m² (for residential and tertiary sectors)
Greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions by consumers
Energy bill of consumers
Households affected by energy insecurity
Penetration rate of urban heating (residential, tertiary)
Proportion of domestic fuel in consumptions of the residential sector
Energy imports
Local energy production
Proportion of alternative energy sources (renewable, recovery) in local consumption
Level of use of potentials for renewable and recovery-sourced productions
Level of energetic independence of the territory
Greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions by producers
Avoided emissions through local renewable production
Annualized investments (by financial actor, by action type) – including network reinforcements implied by the scenario
Local financial balance
Cost per metric ton of avoided CO2 emission, with respect to trend-based scenario
Job creation

These indictors can be visualized in Artelys Crystal City, either on a map or through various diagrams.

Analysing and sharing results

Artelys Crystal City has been designed with a constant concern of usability, in order to encourage its appropriation by any kind of user. Beyond its primary purpose as a planning tool, its simple and clean visual interface makes it a real tool for communication and stakeholder consultation.

In order to regionalize your issues and targets in an optimal way, display your data and simulation results on a map! Easier to use than a Geographic Information System (GIS), navigate between the cartographic layers and superimpose them to identify synergies!

Manipulate your results in complete autonomy and draw your own diagrams (bar charts, pie charts, etc.) in order to communicate with the players of the local ecosystem (technical units, local politicians, private or institutional stakeholders…)

Results at the hourly time-step (consumption profiles by consumer type and energy use, production curves, electricity price, etc.) can also be looked at and analyzed in a specific view.


You already own a GIS? The results obtained by Artelys Crystal City, regionalized or not, can be easily exported to feed your internal tools!

Identify your local major issues

Carrying out an energy diagnosis of your territory with Artelys Crystal City can help you answer, among others, the following questions:

What are the most consuming sectors?
What is the impact of network provision on the penetration of energy carriers?
What is the penetration rate of urban heating in the connected zones?
Which building types are most energy-intensive?
To what extent is the territory dependent from energy imports?
What is the proportion of renewables in local energy production?
What is the level of use of the distribution networks?
Does your consumption profile show any specificities?
What are the renewable potentials of your territory?
Where are the households affected by energy insecurity?

Make decisions

With the construction of several energy scenarios and the provision of many indicators and comparison/analysis tools, Artelys Crystal City is a great help for the definition of your local energy strategy and the achievement of your objectives:

Optimize at medium/long term the investments in energy infrastructure (production plants, distribution networks, demand-side management policies, etc.)
Achieve the objectives of CO2 emissions reduction at the lowest cost
Ensure a well-coordinated development of distribution networks
Make the most of your local potentials for renewable production and flexibility
Mitigate the economic risks linked to uncertainty on fossil fuel prices.

Build, simulate and asses in complete autonomy your own scenarios thanks to an integrated library of land-use development and energy planning actions, and benefit from the follow-up feature of your action program provided by the software.

Share knowledge

Artelys Crystal City is an ergonomic tool accessible for anyone to use, designed to encourage the support to collectivities in their skills improvement and to facilitate results dissemination:

Sustainability of the whole set of local energy data within a single tool,
Results appropriation through various visualization tools (cartographic view, histograms, pie charts, tables, etc.),
Data and results export features.

Choose a flexible software solution

Artelys’ consultants take advantage of Artelys Crystal City’s flexibility for the configuration of local energy models adapted to your specific needs:

Level of detail of the local energy model (geographic zones, consumer types, etc.),
Local actions of structural change,
Indicators for techno-economic and environmental scenario assessment,
Cartographic layers (data and/or simulation results).

Choose independence and efficiency

Artelys Crystal City is developped by an independent optimization software editor.