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Integrated tool for empowering public authorities in the development of sustainable plans for low carbon heating and cooling

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - Planheat (Integrated tool for empowering public authorities in the development of sustainable plans for low carbon heating and cooling)

Reporting period: 2018-04-01 to 2020-01-31

Public bodies face the lack of appropriate easy-to-use tools to support them in the definition, simulation and evaluation of suitable strategies for sustainable heating and cooling. In light of this, PLANHEAT main objective was to develop and demonstrate an integrated and easy-to-use tool which will support local authorities (cities and regions) in selecting, simulating and comparing low carbon and economically sustainable scenarios for heating and cooling. The PLANHEAT integrated tool has been designed to support local authorities in 1) mapping the potential of local low carbon energy sources 2) mapping current and forecast H&C demand 3) define and simulate alternative environmentally friendly scenarios with proven economic viability 4) understanding the interactions of these new scenarios with the existing infrastructures also for district heating and cooling networks renovation 5) evaluate the benefits of the proposed scenarios via energetic, economic and environmental KPIs. The tool will be developed thanks to the direct support of three validation cities (Antwerp, Lecce, Velika Gorica) and the support of other PLANHEAT Supporter cities.

Considering the main project objective (PLANHEAT tool development and promotion among EU Public authorities) the project has achieved foreseen milestones and it also achieved its objectives to engage and facilitate public authorities in using the PLANHEAT tool thanks to a robust dissemination and training campaign
The PLANHEAT project main objective was to develop and demonstrate an integrated and easy-to-use tool which will support local authorities (cities and regions) in selecting, simulating and comparing alternative low carbon and economically sustainable scenarios for heating and cooling that will include the integration of alternative supply solutions (from a panel of advanced key technologies for the new heating and cooling supply) that could balance the forecasted demand

The PLANHEAT Open Source tool is a Q-GIS plug-in, whose structure has been agreed in year 1 by the whole consortium (also thanks to the indications received by EU cities via a survey/participatory approach), and it is composed by three modules: mapping, planning and simulation as foreseen by the GA. In order to be operated by as many cities as possible in EU (in accordance to the different level of availability of data), two parallel approaches have been designed: a bottom-up one (DISTRICT) and a top-down one (CITY).
During the project lifetime different prototypes of the modules and of the integrated tool have been realized and delivered as follows:
- MAPPING MODULE: D2.9 (M15), D2.10 (M24), D2.11 (M32 – updated at the end of the project for some enhanced functionalities also related to facilitated integration)
- PLANNING AND SIMULATION MODULE: D3.9 (M24), D3.10 (M36 and then updated in M40)
- INTEGRATED TOOL: D4.1 (M33, then updated both in M36 and M40)

One of the key actvities of PLANHEAT project has been to interact with EU public authorities and engage them to use PLANHEAT tool: to do so the consortium put in place a robust dissemination and training campaign also via its E-Learning Platform and live events.

Cities have been the real protagonist of PLANHEAT Projects: using the tool, participating to trainings, interacting with tool developers providing insights and feedbacks to enhance tool quality, participating to roundtables aiming to translate project outcomes into guidelines for future policy promotion at local and National level.

Since M24, PLANHEAT modules and tools have been promoted and shared with external stakeholders first signing a proper Letter of Engagement (to use in preview PLANHEAT Mapping module), then, from M34, compiling a “Download online form” that helped PLANHEAT consortium to track who downloaded.

Considering the main project objective (PLANHEAT tool development) the project has achieved foreseen milestones. The specification of the whole tool has been agreed by the consortium also thanks to EU cities’ guidelines/wishes/needs intercepted via a participatory approach (MS1 – M10) while the first release of mapping module prototype has been finalized duly on time (MS2 – M18) and validated by PLANHEAT Validation cities as well as presented in trainings (Training Module 2) and shared with PLANHEAT additional cities since M24. The same has been performed for what it concerns the PLANHEAT integrated too, whose first prototype has been presented in Nantes in May 2019 during PLANHEAT final event and then released to the public and to training attendees (Training Module 3-4) via different and constantly updated enhanced version. (MS4 – M33, achieved in M36).
Training activities have been performed according to the training plan objectives defined in year 1 and training objectives have been achieved.
All training activities foresaw the preparation of interactive and complete training materials which are all available on the PLANHEAT E-Learning Platform. The E-Learning platform properly worked during the whole project lifetime and it has been constantly updated: it is still active and populated by project partners and training attendees providing enhanced training materials and contribution

In the framework of WP6, 11 KERs have been identified. Specific exploitation strategy and IPR management were developed per each of them (reported in related WP6 deliverables). A preliminary exploitation plan has been agreed as well for the main project KER: the PLANHEAT tool.

8000 stakeholders participated in PLANHEAT promotion events (82 event plus two launching events and a final event9, while 15000 stakeholders interacted with the project via website, social media, etc.
"PLANHEAT tool is composed by three modules (Mapping, Planning and Simulating) integrated with a WebServer database where the end-user is able to find useful data coming from available EU databases (already identified in D1.6). The tool will be completely OpenSource and first of its kind integrating in a single platform all these functionalities, furthermore it will map potential unconventional heat sources at urban level thanks to novel algorithms.

The tool has been developed as a Q-GIS plug-in and its functionalities has been described in the PLANHEAT tool manual as well as in PLANHEAT Training campaign material.

The main objective of the project is indeed not only to realize a tool, but to make this tool be used by EU cities. At this purpose, the consortium setup a training plan (composed by webinars via a dedicated E-Learning platform and pysical workshops) to encourage the use of the tool by EU cities.

During the project lifetime the consortium interacted and engaged 84 public authorities and public authorities related organizations (regional authorities, energy agencies, public owned energy utilities etc.) and 66 other type of organizations (universities, consultants, private energy utilities etc.) while 130 institutions downloading PLANHEAT tool. Among them 24 were public authorities and 46 were private users (energy utilities, consulting companies, professional architect/engineer/consultant, DHN managers etc.). A total of 164 downloads have been tracked

The tool and the project was a ""first approach"" to energy planning for many public authorities stakeholders. It engaged stakeholders to low carbon H&C planning, also promoting the update of SEAP to SECAP and the relevant role of Heating and Cooling in urban energy plans."
PLANHEAT District Heating and Cooling Route Optimizer
PLANHEAT Demand Mapping Module
PLANHEAT Tool Launching Interface
PLANHEAT District Planning Module
PLANHEAT Supply Mapping Module