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Supporting the progress of renewable energies for heating and cooling in the EU on a local level

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - progRESsHEAT (Supporting the progress of renewable energies for heating and cooling in the EU on a local level)

Reporting period: 2016-09-01 to 2017-10-31

More than 50% of the total final energy consumption in the EU was used for heating and cooling (H/C) purposes in 2012, with more than 2/3 of it supplied by fossil fuels. The transition to a renewable heating and cooling sector is a key precondition to reach the adopted climate mitigation targets. The objective of the project progRESsHEAT was to assist policy makers at local, regional, national and EU level in the development and implementation of advanced policies and strategies to enforce the use of efficient and renewable solutions for H/C in their region.
The project was based on the combination of scientifically guided strategy development and target-oriented dissemination and capacity building. 4 scientific partners, one dissemination partner and 6 local/regional energy agencies as well as local authorities worked 2 ½ years with focus on 6 municipalities and countries around Europe, also taking into account the overall European context.
The identification and implementation of sound technical and policy options for H/C has to consider the local level and specific local circumstances, conditions and constraints. In the municipalities of Ansfelden (Austria), Brasov (Romania), Helsingør (Denmark), Herten (Germany), Litoměřice (Czech Republic) and Matosinhos (Portugal) a profound strategy development process has been performed throughout the entire project duration. This included on the one hand a scientific analysis, based on the following points: (1) assessment of technical scenarios of the H/C systems up to 2050, (2) empirical analysis of barriers and drivers and (3) a policy analysis for these municipalities. On the other hand a target-oriented communication and capacity building process was performed: regular meetings with relevant local policy makers, workshops to discuss interim and final results of analyses as well as workshops to train local policy and industry stakeholders on relevant topics related to H/C in their municipalities. At the end of the project this process led to 6 local H/C decarbonisation strategy roadmaps that are based on scientific work and were developed together with relevant policy makers and stakeholders, thus assuring a high level of acceptance and implementation capabilities.
In the six countries under investigation national policy makers were assisted in the implementation of heating and cooling plans. This included regular meetings with relevant national and regional policy maker and modelling of national H/C systems. Special focus was drawn on the link between local and national level policy action in order to drive information exchange and understand the impact of actions at both levels.
In order to assure learnings from the project also after the project duration a set of training materials has been developed and tested in the project. This includes a modular set of presentations on various topics related to decarbonisation of H/C including basics of relevant technologies, financial calculation, aspects for policy making and the Least Cost Tool (LCT) developed for local level analysis. 16 webinars have performed dealing with decarbonisation of H/C at local, regional, national and EU level.
The main outcomes of progRESsHEAT are 6 local H/C strategy roadmaps for the participating municipalities, a comprehensive set of policy recommendations for local, regional, national and EU policy making and a broad set of information and training materials:
A main conclusion of the detailed local analyses is that policy intervention to decarbonise H/C systems has to be flexible enough to take into account the high diversity of local circumstances with regards to current state of H/C systems, prevailing barriers and existing potentials of RES. Furthermore, local level action is a precondition for change, as the local policy makers, stakeholders and consumers have to participate and push towards decarbonisation. The developed strategy roadmaps provide an important guideline for decarbonisation of H/C systems in all municipalities and feed into different official municipal energy strategies currently in development or in reshape. In Brasov the document itself is proposed for discussion on the agenda of the Local Council in January 2018. The strategy roadmaps furthermore inspired other municipalities in also taking ambitious approaches. In Upper Austria e.g. the strategy of Ansfelden has been shown to nearly 90 municipalities in the region in a dedicated workshop.
The results of the country-wide analyses show that although currently implemented policies lead to remarkable decarbonisation especially in buildings, they are not in line with the targets as set out in the Paris Agreement at COP21. In all sectors related to H/C more ambitious policy influence is needed with highest importance of changes in the industry sectors. The policy assistance and impact assessment process at national levels in the participating countries provided important input and inspiration for policy development. E.g. in Germany project results have been used as input for the recast of the national CHP Act as well as for the implementation of a new support programme for district heating (Wärmenetze 4.0).
In the project comprehensive recommendations for integrated, effective and efficient policy strategies aimed at achieving a fast and strong penetration of RES and efficient H/C systems have been derived. These were intensively discussed in the final phase of the project in various face to face events as well as dedicated webinars. This resulted in a profound collection of policy recommendations linked to best practice exampled for the future shape of political frameworks related to decarbonizing H/C in the EU, distinguishing between local, regional, national and EU level action.
The developed training packages have served for the preparation of training materials used in capacity building workshops in the participating municipalities. The developed least cost tool (LCT) for deriving least cost combinations of heat saving and heat supply is now available for download at the project website. The website has been set up at the beginning of the project. Since then 43,300 people were visiting the website. In total around 2,000 policy makers, 1,000 industry stakeholders, 1,500 persons in the scientific community and 600 other stakeholders were attracted throughout the project duration via workshops, trainings, webinars and conferences. Another 10,310 followers received regular Facebook and Twitter news and 1,200 flyers of policy recommendations were distributed and downloaded.

Institute for Energy Systems and Electric Drives, Technische Universität Wien - TU-Wien (Austria) – Coordinator of the project // Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI (Germany) // Technical University of Denmark - DTU (Denmark) // Institute for Resource Efficiency and Energy Strategies - IREES GmbH (Germany) // OÖ Energiesparverband - ESV (Austria) // ee energy engineers GmbH (Germany) // Gate 21 (Denmark) // Instituto de Engenharia Mecanica e Gestao Industrial - INEGI (Portugal) // Agentia Pentru Management ul Energiei si Protectia Mediului Brasov - ABMEE (Romania) // City of Litoměřice (Czech Republic) // Energy Cities (France)