A workshop on renewable and clean energy production was held on the second day of Istanbul Medeniyet University Sustainability Week events.”ElectriCITY: Energy Preferences Game”, a role game, which the participants produce energy policies as decision makers in the energy production of the city, was played at the workshop. The workshop was conducted by the Department of City and Regional Planning Research Assistant Ayça ÇELİKBİLEK and geological engineer Gökhan SAPMAZ.
At the beginning of the workshop, general information about the energy system and energy management used in cities was given. In this context, the participants were informed about primary energy sources such as fossil fuels, renewable energy sources and other energy sources. Afterwards, technologies and facilities that convert these primary energy sources into usable energy were mentioned and it was stated which primary energy sources these facilities use to generate electricity and which end-use sectors such as trade, industry, transportation and residantal can use this electricity. After all this information, the energy produced from which energy sources is used in which sector, the amount of potential energy that each energy source can produce and the amount of lost energy (energy efficiency) were discussed with the participants via the Sankey diagram. Finally, in order to understand why energy policies are important for the environment, information was given to the participants about air pollutants, greenhouse gases and water consumption resulting from source selection in energy production. Thus, the participants were made to understand the importance of energy management in the global climate crisis.
In the second part of the workshop, the game, which is a simple simulation of the energy system in cities, was introduced to the participants and the rules of the game were explained. The game started by dividing the participants into five groups, each representing a city with different resources. The game, which was designed as a simulation of real life, was played as 6 different stages, in which carbon costs gradually increased, carbon emissions were kept at a certain limit, water consumption was kept at a certain limit, and different political and economic conditions were developed for each group. At each stage, it was discussed how the changes in political, economic and environmental conditions reflected on the energy policies produced by the groups and how these policies were reflected on the environmental costs in addition to the construction and operating costs.
At the end of the workshop, the total cost (installation+operation+environmental) of the energy policies produced by each team for their city was calculated. The workshop ended with the announcement of the first three teams that became low-carbon society at the end of the 6 stages.
About the Game: ElectriCITY is a simple simulation game that focuses on the costs of generating electricity for cities. The game serves as a dynamic platform to encourage participants to think about the costs of this choice, as they decide what type of energy to produce in the city. The main goal of the game is to gain the ability to evaluate environmental costs, including how different electricity mixes can affect carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and water use, in addition to investment and operating costs in energy production. The game also has the potential to explore different energy contexts specific to geographic regions as well as socio-political issues. Thus, it creates an opportunity to discuss the geographical inequalities in energy production and indirectly in industrial production. The aim of the game is not to tell the “right answer” in energy production, but to provide an understanding of the challenges and, more importantly, the tradeoffs in making energy and policy decisions.