Energy Germany’s Energiewende

A grassroots movement
that became national policy p.4

Smart Cities:
Are they smart enough? p.10
Financing the energy
renovation of buildings p.12
No. 45 Spring 2017 INFO
Edito Crossword

Please disturb: Energy Test the 2

transition under way ! in you! 5

A series of small revolutions in the making 6
are disrupting – or, rather, to use the guiding
keyword of this Energy Cities INFO edition –
disturbing the world energy order. Old logics
and assumptions no longer hold true, upsetting
vested interests and monopolies and more
generally challenging the status quo. With the
Covenant of Mayors having reached world-
1. To engage people 4. To change a system, make it work
wide scope, cities from all across the world 2. To work together to more effectively
are busy outlining roadmaps and masterplans achieve a common goal 5. To come or bring together as one
defining the kind of energy transition they are keen to deliver. 3. To interfere in something 6. To make links with others
Two years ago in Paris, close to 1,000 of us, mayors and elec-
ted representatives, committed to becoming 100% renewable
1. Mobilise 2. Collaborate 3. Disrupt 4. Reform 5. Unite 6. Connect
Answers :

or climate neutral by 2050. But 2050 is now. The choices we
make today must be based on no-regret trajectories that we
will have to live with for decades to come.

As we, cities, embrace this exercise, we ought to disturb our CONTENTS
own comfort zones, and encourage citizens and other local
Interview with Carine Dartiguepeyrou:
actors to join the challenge. Let’s disturb entrenched habits of Accelerating the future.................................................................................................. p.3
working within silos and hermetic departments. Invite residents
to knock on the planning door and join the discussion table. Invite The German Energiewende:
them to disturb their own routine by engaging in city life and A grassroots movement that became national policy.......................... p.4
becoming architects of their future. Disturb their neighbors to Members in the spotlight: Stuttgart and Lisbon........................................ p.6
join a shared energy project, start an urban gardening initiative The commons transition: pooling resources................................................. p.7
together or use the same ride to commute to work. All these
Grand Genève: A cooperative cross-border area ..................................... p.8
“little disturbances” need to be aligned in a broad and bold
integrated strategy, with adequate structures and mechanisms Connecting the dots: A Belgian success story............................................ p.9
in place to foster coherence and continuity. Smart Cities: are they smart enough?............................................................. p.10
Going 100 % renewable in district heating and cooling.................. p.11
As in the alphabetic order, let’s make sure we put our Cs before
our Ds, and connect, collaborate and co-design our common Financing the energy renovation of buildings.......................................p.12/13
future, in order to reach the decarbonised, decentralised and EU Energy Union: Time to add the missing ingredients..................... p.14
democratised energy system we all strive for. Local energy ownership in Europe:
An exploratory study by Energy Cities............................................................. p.15

Eckart Würzner, Mayor of Heidelberg, Germany, If you wish to receive this Translation:
and President of Energy Cities yearly magazine for free, Nathalie Fauchadour
please send a e-mail to:
Graphic design:
Director of publication:
Print office: SIMONGRAPHIC
Miriam Eisermann
Contributors to this issue:
Alix Bolle, Floriane Cappelletti, Printed on recycled paper
Miriam Eisermann and further Energy N° ISSN: 1256-6098
Cities’ colleagues Print run: 2,000 copies
Legal deposit: Spring 2017
Cover: Tutti Quanti, photos:
Matej Kastelic (,
Alexander Kharchenko (123rf)
Energy Cities N° 45 I p.2

Energy Cities | Main office Energy Cities | Brussels office
2, chemin de Palente Rue d’Arlon 63-65
F - 25000 Besançon B - 1040 Brussels

Phone: +33 381 65 36 80
Energy Cities N° 45 I p.3

Accelerating the future
Carine Dartiguepeyrou, a political scientist and
© Jérôme Krumenacker

foresight specialist, helps private and public
institutions change their paradigms and
come up with their visions of the future.
Her latest book is entitled “Le futur est
déjà là” (The future is already here). She also
made a speech at Energy Cities’ Stuttgart
conference entitled “What future for the
ecological transition in an accelerating
© Liu Zishan (123rf)

We are living in an era of rapidity and foresight can help here: the eco- tory dimension. They must also show
and instantaneity. What is the logical transition requires both long- backbone to make up for national defi-
impact of this acceleration on public term visions and short-term actions. ciencies by identifying and relying on
action? Can a local government We must be able to think freely, by those local players capable of bringing
keep this “dictatorship of urgency” shaking off preconceived ideas and about change, but without using them
at bay? allowing time for sense-making, whilst for their own ends. Here, we face a
being able to rapidly and efficiently new challenge, that of creating new
To my knowledge, no one has better take contingency measures to tackle forms of partnerships based on trust,
explained this acceleration, so typi- any ecological dysfunctions. mutual respect and some sort of soft
cal of our times, than the German power. Is it pos-
philosopher and sociologist Hartmut The issue both applies to public and “The new sible? I believe this
Rosa. Information and communication private actions. However, in my opi-
technologies are key factors, but like nion, public action has to overcome an challenge is islong not utopian as
as people act
all technologies, they both set us free additional barrier, i.e. the fact that poli- to create new responsibly and are
and hold us in thrall. Today, speed is tical alternation has to be factored in forms of not at the mercy of
the standard, no matter what. But our and that the conduct of policies needs
perception of time is not uniform and to have a raison d’être that transcends partnerships, destructive domina-
tions or balances of
differs according partisanship. Local elected representa- some sort of power, and as long
“We must to people and their tives depend on the public authorities soft power.” as they use their
both allow psychologies. to implement their policies. I think this rational, emotional
is the real challenge for them. Finding and sensible intel-
time for What I have tried support and engagement within cen- ligence to take action. This requires
sense-making to demonstrate is tral government authorities to relay agreeing on an objective and acting
and be able that studying the and deploy their policies over the long with empathy for oneself and the com-
long-time scale, term. Politicians need time to work munity. It also involves the emergence
to take which, like many and to set lengthy reforms in stone. and awareness of a “shared we” that
contingency complex and inter- provokes the desire to act collectively
measures!” generational issues, Initiatives aimed at developing a over the long term.
is intrinsically linked new cultural savoir-faire are all
to durability, requires linking different around us. Given this momentum,
timeframes, i.e. the short, medium what should be the position of local
and long terms. Very often, how- governments willing to engage in
ever, we are either in an ungrounded, the energy transition?
almost suspended long-time scale or
focused on short-term, restless action, Local authorities wanting to engage
rather than contributing to a long-term in the energy transition need to adopt
vision. My message is quite simple the “institutional WE”, i.e. the regula-
Germany’s Energiewende:
A grassroots movement
that became national policy
with local tweaks. In Ontario’s one respect: nowhere did copying
case, a “domestic German-style feed-in tariffs lead to a
content” clause was grassroots movement for renewables.
added to increase Only Germany and Denmark have
popular support for experienced such movement – and the
the extra cost of Germans arguably copied it from the
renewables. You Danes.
might have to pay a
bit more, policy- The grassroots movement produced
makers told feed-in tariffs, not vice versa
citizens, but then
the money will After the oil crisis of 1973, many
create local green Danish citizens rejected the rush for
jobs and green energy. nuclear power. The Germans translated
What lawmakers the Danish “Atomkraft? Nej tak!”
should have stressed (Nuclear? No thanks!) as “Atomkraft,
more is another aspect of nein danke!”, and the rest is, well, his-
the law: for the first time, it tory.
allowed citizens to produce and When citizen protesters against nuclear
profitably sell their own electricity. in both countries were asked what they
Homeowners could put wanted instead, they said renewables
solar on their and efficiency. Experts laughed at the
roofs, but – notion. Photovoltaics was still a techno-
© Naseem Adil (123rf)

more logy for outer space, and modern wind
importantly turbines had not even been developed
– citizens yet. With Germany’s best experts
could come doubting wind, startups had to do all
together to the R&D.
set up communi- By 1994, the wind sector had largely
ty wind farms. answered the main questions about
Ontarians however hadn’t been turbine options (such as the number of
asking for that right. So when the law blades that should
Copy-pasting German-style feed-in
gave it to everyone, the entities that
grabbed the opportunity were mainly
“Policymakers be used).
Newcomers like
those who monitored energy policy around the world farm equipment
Back in 2008, George Smitherman anyway: energy companies. have copied manufacturers
visited Germany to learn more about
how to create a renewable energy
Ontarians thus found themselves
trying to fight large wind farms planned
Germany’s feed- Vestas of Denmark
and Germany’s
revolution. As Ontario’s Energy by out-of-town firms and planning regu- in tariffs, often Enercon (initially,
Minister, he went home to draft what lations gave them little power to veto with local the proverbial two
became the province’s Green Energy
Act. Nearly a decade later, this legisla-
them. The result is popular resentment
of onshore wind farms.
tweaks.” guys in a garage)
laid the founda-
tion has led to one of the fiercest anti- tions. Europe’s
wind movements in the world. What The details are specific to Ontario, engineering giants played no role;
went wrong? but other places – Spain, the Czech Siemens, for instance, did not even
Policy-makers around the world have Republic, Italy, and the UK come to enter the wind sector until 2004.
copied Germany’s feed-in tariffs, often mind – have similar stories to tell in The grassroots Energiewende move-
Energy Cities N° 45 I p.4
© robin2b (123rf)

Energy Cities N° 45 I p.5
Riding a French-German
TANDEM for the local
energy transition

“The energy ment had been alive
for a quarter of a
consensus for sustained change might
be a better option.
transition is a century when, in
one-time 2000, German The real lesson from Germany is
opportunity to citizens elected a being overlooked: the energy transi-

government that tion is a one-time opportunity to
democratize the paid a profitable rate democratise the energy sector.
energy sector.” for still expensive People may reject a utility going
solar power. The green for them if they feel left out of Local energy transition projects
Germans now pay high prices for the decision-making process. are being developed on both sides
power from old, expensive panels, but Society will support and participate of the Franco-German border. They
the world benefits from today’s low in the transition if people are viewed cover a variety of areas where
solar prices that Germany contributed as citizens (with rights), not just as peer reviewing policies, tools and
to establishing. consumers (with choices). methods can be particularly rich:
energy efficiency in buildings,
So how do you launch a bottom-up ownership of renewable energy
Energiewende? generation, awareness-raising,
fuel poverty, etc.
Germany’s Energiewende started with Craig Morris is a Senior Fellow at the
citizens saying no to nuclear – but then Institute for Advanced Sustainability
having to say what they wanted
The TANDEM project, supported by
Studies and co-author of Energy ADEME, is led by Energy Cities and
instead. The lessons from that story Democracy: Germany’s Energiewende
may sound surprising. First, let citizens Klima-Bündnis in collaboration with
to Renewables. KEA (Bade-Wurttemberg energy and
block onshore wind projects – just
don’t let them go home without saying climate protection agency in
what it is they want democracy Germany). It is a unique opportunity
“Germany’s instead. That’s how for French and German local govern-
ments to cooperate on topics of com-
Energiewende the Energiewende
started, and it led to mon interest.
started with a nationwide debate Since 2014, TANDEM has been sup-
citizens saying about energy that porting the establishment of joint
no to nuclear – continues today. (In
the end, citizens will
projects between local governments,
mostly twinned cities. Over 14
but then having pick renewables and TANDEMs have been set up or are
to say what efficiency.) under consideration. Mutual under-
they wanted Second, a nation
cannot start a natio-
standing of energy and climate poli-
cies in both countries is thus pro-
instead.” nal energy discus- moted through reports, discussions,
sion overnight. The study tours, etc.
Germans have been holding theirs for
nearly half a century. On the other Results and outlook
hand, the Energiewende seems to publication (in French and
have built up such momentum that not German):
even the high retail power rates scare
them off. The last US presidential elec- pdf/brochure_tandem_fr_
tion suggests that quick change might web.pdf
not be the answer anyway. A national
Members in the spotlight

Stuttgart: Innovating for the energy transition
i.e. reaching the ultimate balance As for the private residential sector, the
between emissions and the absorptive city offers a “care-free package” for
capacity of the Earth. the home owners who are willing to
Stuttgart is putting a lot of efforts in carry out energy renovation works,
reaching its vision! For many years with the aim of raising the annual ener-
now, the city has been implementing gy refurbishment rate from 1,5 to 3%
© Landeshauptstadt Stuttgart

inventive measures to improve energy by 2020.
efficiency in private and public buil- Signatory to the Covenant of Mayors,
dings, a sector which is responsible for Stuttgart has set itself the objective to
over 35% of GHG emissions in the EU. reduce CO2 emissions by 20% by
As early 1995, the city council set up 2020, compared to 1990 levels. A tar-
Host to Energy Cities’ 2017 an innovative financing scheme aimed get that the city intends to reach by
Conference, the German city of at increasing energy efficiency and the implementing the measures described
Stuttgart is well-known for its industrial use of renewable energy in public buil- in its action plan “Klimaschutzkonzept
activity as well as its foresighted cli- dings, equipment and facilities. The Stuttgart”. And by carrying on visio-
mate and energy policy. Located in combination of a revolving fund and an ning, daring, inventing!
Baden-Wuerttemberg, a region that can internal contracting (Intracting) scheme
be considered as the birthplace of the has already allowed the municipality to Stuttgart’s best practices in Energy
German energy transition, this city of finance around 350 energy efficiency Cities’ database:
over 609,200 inhabitants has an ambi- measures, generating savings of over
tious vision for 2050: climate neutrality, EUR 22 million.

Members in the spotlight Lisbon has been collaborating with pedestrian areas and public spaces, co-
local actors to develop a common creation of urban furniture with citizens

Lisbon’s 2050 roadmap vision: “A smart city with more people,
more jobs and better quality of life”.
Considering this vision as the desirable
(3D printing), launching Neighbourhood
Sustainability Contests, promoting co-
housing initiatives... Most of the mea-
Lisbon, together with seven other endpoint, six thematic areas were sures will be implemented in a pilot
European cities, (Barcelona, Copenhagen selected in the visioning process: district of Lisbon and will then be sca-
& Malmö, Istanbul, Lisbon, Litomerice, mobility, energy, climate change, urban led up to the entire city!
Milan & Turin, Rostock & Zagreb) de- regeneration, inclusion and attractive-
signed local 2050 “post-carbon” road- ness. After identifying opportunities
maps in the framework of the and obstacles, milestones and actions lisbon
EU-funded POCACITO (Post Carbon were agreed upon, using 2020 and
Cities of Tomorrow) project. 2030 as interim points: developing

network of
equipment POCACITO tools to accelerate cities’
and research
energy transition
Capital of
MORE JOBS the Atlantic One of the major results of the POCACITO
7FP project (2014-2016), co-financed by
ADEME, is an EU 2050 roadmap which
inclusive calls for cities to be better involved in EU
MORE PEOPLE and sustainable
mobility policy making. It is the result of a two-year
consultation process with both EU and
tourism local stakeholders.
The roadmap is accompanied by a series
of 6 Policy Briefs targeting political deci-
sion-makers and an online marketplace of
regeneration ideas presents 60 factsheets covering
most of the fields of the transition to a
local post-carbon economy.
culture and
of buildings
Energy Cities N° 45 I p.6

Goals orienting the visions for Lisbon (source : Breil et. al. 2015)
Energy Cities N° 45 I p.7

The commons transition:

It’s all about pooling resources
Interview with
Michel Bauwens,
© P2P Foundation

President of the
Foundation for P2P

Mr Bauwens, since March 2017, you
have been assisting the city of
Ghent, Belgium, with a “commons
transition” project. At a time when
European towns and cities are wor-
king on their roadmaps towards a
desirable future by 2050, what can ©
you tell us about this specific pro- sl,
ject? How does it interact with exis- udio
ting approaches such as energy
transition and climate plans?

The question underpinning the energy
and climate transition is: to what
extent is the necessary change compa-
tible with the prevailing structures and
the supremacy of a form of market
that can be viewed as too extractive
given the natural resources and envi-
ronmental issues? One possible ans-
wer is that we must increasingly years), identifying shared resources, These platforms must bring together
encourage the pooling of resources, asking citizens what kind of support all transition stakeholders to help trans-
what we call “commons”. Pooling they expect from urban policies and form extractive techniques into gene-
resources is of vital importance to finally, an important issue given the rative approaches and they must
reduce the use of materials and energy current context, whether it is possible advise cities on their transition policies.
in our societies and has been the solu- to relocate food and industrial produc- But doing all this alone would be
tion used by civilisations throughout tion in or around the city. absurd; this is why transnational and
history in times of crises. trans-urban structures have to be crea-
According to the testimony of a ted to ensure “global mobilisation,
Commons are shared resources number of Energy Cities’ member local experimentation and viral disse-
managed in a participatory way by cities, one of the essential factors mination”! Cities must collaborate
communities of users according to for a fair energy transition and for with each other to support the
their own standards. The dynamic, achieving 100% renewable energy construction of these new, shared and
therefore, comes neither from the supply lies to a large extent in the open infrastructures. This approach is
state nor the market. Commons are solidarity mechanisms between evident in the Fab City project and the
gaining momentum everywhere, espe- rural and urban areas. What would Barcelona Pledge, by which 16 local
cially in the immaterial world through you recommend to cities engaged in authorities have pledged to relocate
the pooling of knowledge, and also this type of approach? 50% of food and industrial production
increasingly with respect to urban in the city. The new motto is neither
goods. One example of this is the We are currently facing a double crisis Trump protectionism nor destructive
regulations on the commons in where the state and market alone are neoliberalism but is based on the fol-
Bologna and already 140 Italian cities unable to achieve the necessary ener- lowing rule: “what is light is global and
where citizens can make proposals for gy and ecological transition. The city is what is heavy is local”. We call it cos-
using urban resources with the closer to citizens and an increasing mo-localisation or the “subsidiarity of
consent and support of local govern- number of them are engaged in com- material production”.
ments. The Ghent project involves munity transition initiatives. In my opi-
mapping the city’s commons (accor- nion, “sustainable development eman-
ding to a study by the Think Tank cipation platforms” should be set up
Oikos, the number of initiatives has for the production of all essential
increased tenfold over the last ten goods, i.e. food, housing, mobility, etc.
© Stéphane Couchet
Greater Geneva
is a cross-border
bordering Lake
Geneva and
straddling two
countries, France
and Switzerland. Its
212 municipalities
are home to almost
one million people.


Greater Geneva:
a cooperative cross-border area
The Swiss partners from the Cantons of Vaud and Geneva and their French
counterparts have devised a shared vision of their territory’s development
combining mobility, urban development and environmental measures,
spurred on by the “Conurbation Project” approach promoted by the Swiss
Confederation since 2007 and eligible to co-funding.
We met Pierre Jean What synergies have you Civil society is involved in this cross-
Crastes, co-President identified and what difficulties border project through the Greater
of Greater Geneva’s have you encountered linked to Geneva’s Conurbation Forum. In
© CC genevois

Cross-border Energy the differences in the way urban practical terms, how does this dia-
Community and Vice- development and mobility issues logue between the municipalities
President for the energy transition are handled? and citizens operate?
at the Metropolitan Pole of the
French Geneva area. Since Switzerland is a federal state, In 2013, it appeared obvious that civil
our cultures, regulations and admi- society should have its say in the esta-
Mr Crastes, running an ambitious nistrative organisations are very blishment of the local association for
energy policy in a single area or different: my counterparts from the cross-border cooperation (GLCT), the
country is complicated enough by Canton of Geneva are the equivalent political body in charge of administering
itself. Why have you decided to join to French ministers! They have there- Greater Geneva. Today, the Conurbation
forces with the Swiss section of fore many more powers, including Forum is fully integrated into Greater
the conurbation to implement the that of amending the law, something Geneva’s governance scheme. Initially
energy transition? that a President of a Community of devised on the French “local develop-
Municipalities simply can’t do! ment committee” model, the Forum is
The Greater Geneva area is crossed Mobility issues are a perfect example composed of 75 associations or organi-
by national, cantonal and departmen- of these differences: sations divided into three sections (envi-
tal borders. However, it constitutes a
single living area for all its inhabitants -
“All this [...] on the French side,
discussions involve 10
ronment, economy and social/culture).
The Forum works on issues of its own
both French and Swiss – and its future forces us to different organising initiative (conurbation financing, car-
can only be considered collectively. constantly authorities whereas sharing, etc.) or on issues referred to it
We believe that energy is a structuring
component of our future and that our
innovate to the Canton of Geneva
has a single structure.
by the GLCT Assembly: the last referral
concerned Greater Geneva’s energy
common resources must be managed push back the As much energy is and climate policy and requested Forum
and developed together in a shared limits” therefore needed to members to give their expert opinion
vision. Like for drinking water, although reach a consensus on the cross-border dimension of the
the issue is more complex, our only between the French partners as for the action plan developed as part of the
option is to aim to create a common whole cross-border area. Climate Plan of the Canton of Geneva
strategy. All this adds complexity but it also currently under preparation.
forces us to constantly innovate to For us, elected representatives, the
push back the limits. Water manage- Forum is an opportunity to disseminate
Energy Cities N° 45 I p.8

ment, air quality and the reflections on and share the cross-border ambition of
geothermal energy illustrate our capa- our projects with local people.
city to mutually learn from each other’s
strengths and successful experiments.
Energy Cities N° 45 I p.9
Connecting the dots:
A Belgian success story
Interview with Ismaël Daoud, CEO of the Energiris Cooperative
In a busy café located in with the manager of a biogas coopera- an enabling framework is never a bad
the heart of the tive 70 km from Brussels, who pro- thing!
European neighbou- duces energy from the waste of his
© Energiris

rhood of Brussels, frozen food neighbour company. We Three municipalities from the Brussels-
Ismaël enthusiastically discussed a long-term contract for him Capital Region have helped communi-
shares with us the secrets of the to send me his excess biogas produc- ty-led projects get off the ground by
cooperative he manages. tion to green my CHP units in introducing specific criteria in favour of
“Energiris”, the linguistic combina- Brussels. So in the end, the key is cooperatives in their public procure-
tion of “energy” and “iris”, the about creating the right loops and the ment procedures. In the municipalities
flower which symbolises the by-product is a win-win cooperation of Jette, Molenbeek and soon
Brussels region, has indeed won between two cooperatives!” Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, this led to the
converts in most of the region’s 19 installation of nearly 1,000 kWp of pho-
municipalities, with 18 projects Three municipalities showing tovoltaics co-owned by citizens!
ongoing, 349 member citizens and the way
some 2.4 millions of investments. Although Energiris always finds a way
to circumvent unfavourable legislation,
When asked about the new European
Energy Package and what he expects
from national and European legislation,
Ismaël’s answer is rather straight- Energy Communities in proposed EU legislation:
forward: nothing. “If we face problems,
we find ways around them. The key is The good, the bad, the ugly
to be creative and to always innovate”.
By way of example, Ismaël explains ☺
that for some of the combined heat
and power (CHP) projects the coopera-
tive manages, only 15% of the electri-
city produced is consumed by the
households, with 85% having to be • The European Commission’s • Above a certain threshold, • All renewable energy in-
sold to the grid “at a ridiculous price”. proposals on market design all renewable energy instal- stallations (of above
His solution? Investing in electric char- and renewables now pro- lations will have to com- 500 kW installed capacity)
ging stations! And he is not discou- vide a legal basis for the pete in auctions, meaning and highly efficient co-
raged by the very limited number of existence of community smaller cooperatives will generation no longer have
e-vehicles in Brussels. “It is the chic- energy projects, with each have to measure up to large priority access to the grid.
ken or the egg story. We install the of the two legislative texts utilities.
stations and the electric cars will fol- introducing an official defi- ?
low, especially since a fill up will cost nition.
about 75 % cheaper than gas!”. • The proposed directive on
renewables establishes the
Now Energiris is even looking at ways right to consume, store
to green the fuel used to power the and/or self-generate elec-
said CHP systems, currently running tricity to the market.
on natural gas. “This morning I met

Members in the spotlight

Smart Cities: Smart cities, an
opportunity for
sustainable development!
Are Smart Cities
low-energy cities?

Are they
By Bruno Charles,
15th Vice-president
By Laurent of Greater Lyon

© Grand Lyon
Tonnerre, Deputy

© Ville de Lorient
Mayor of the City

smart enough?
of Lorient
Processing data generated by
urban activities is being assigned
New digital tools and uses offer a
the almost miraculous task of
wealth of opportunities, provided,
optimising public services, offering
of course, they are not imposed on
Where do Energy Cities cities and are implemented with new services to citizens, generating
new growth and ensuring the
members stand? Two French their active participation. The City
energy transition of cities. Nothing
members have shared with us of Lorient has conducted foresight
short of that!
research on smart cities with three
their definition of a “smart city” different consultancies. Three Will Smart Cities be low-energy
cities with energy-saving and
with, hovering in the visions of smart cities have
climate-protection objectives? Not
emerged from these seminars:
background, a few question 1 The city seen as a real-time necessarily:
marks. “system of systems”: This is the 1 There is a contradiction between
promoting energy-saving
somewhat conventional vision of
See what a “smart city” looks like by browsing objectives and increasing the
the smart city, sustained by
the profile of other Energy Cities’ members: number of electronic devices
images borrowed from science- exponentially. The proliferation
fiction and involving “big data”,
of these electronic devices has
sensors, algorithms, even control
virtually cancelled out the
rooms, etc.
progress made in terms of
2 The city as a platform of
energy saving and energy
services: it aims to meet the
efficiency and has generated
needs of consumer-citizens by
billions of items of electronic
providing them with a wealth of
waste that are difficult, if not
private and public tools giving
impossible, to recycle.
them access to a wider, more
2 The “smart city” will increase
personalised range of products
the social divide for those people
and services.
who do not have access to new
3 The city as a collaborative
technology - and there are more
interface: citizens are
of them than we may think.
encouraged to act for the
3 “Big data”, i.e. collecting and
common good, to shape the city.
handling billions of data items,
poses major risks for individual
Conditions must be created to
allow ownership of these new
tools, creating more solidarity in a
More importantly, although digital
more energy-efficient city. For
technology may one day be able to
Lorient, this means implementing
“optimise” the urban system, such
tools and support programmes
optimisation will not be sufficient
© Jess Sanz (123rf)

aimed at improving ownership of
to achieve factor 4: for this, we
energy use monitoring (Interreg
need a complete change of para-
digm. Inventing “short distance”
and using new technologies to
cities, reclaiming urban space
improve the acoustic environment
monopolised by cars and returning
(ANR CENSE project).
it to pedestrians and cyclists, relo- cating a significant share of the
production - including food produc-
tion - to the city are just a few
examples of urban policies that are
more important than the smart city
for achieving the energy transition.
Ultimately, smart cities are first and
foremost cities of which the design
Energy Cities N° 45 I p.10

makes it possible to lead a free,
low-energy life, without being trap-
ped in a technical system.
Energy Cities N° 45 I p.11
© Gui Yongnian (123rf)

Cities at work!
Going 100% renewable in district heating and cooling
In the EU, heating and cooling in our specific, the ‘Directive on the promotion porting them in deploying renewable
buildings and industry accounts for half of the use of energy from renewable energy for district heating and cooling,
of the energy consumption. However, sources’ reads that “each Member notably as part of three innovative
84% of the energy used for that matter State shall endeavour to increase the EU-funded projects.
is generated from fossil fuels while only share of renewable energy supplied for
16% comes from renewable energy! heating and cooling by at least 1 percen- More information on the EU
In its new legislative package “Clean tage point every year”. Let’s be realis- Heating and Cooling strategy at
Energy for All Europeans”, the tic: Member States won’t reach this tar-
European Commission put a greater get on their own... Luckily, cities are topics/energy-efficiency/heating-
emphasis on this issue. To be more already at work! Energy Cities is sup- and-cooling


The Horizon 2020 progRESsHEAT HotMaps (Horizon 2020) aims at The HeatNet project, co-funded by
project helps policy-makers develop designing a toolbox to support the Interreg North-West Europe
integrated policy strategies aimed public authorities, energy agencies programme, addresses the
at achieving a fast and strong and urban planners in strategic challenge of reducing CO2 emissions
penetration of renewable and heating and cooling planning at through the introduction of 4th
efficient heating and cooling local, regional and national levels, generation district heating and
systems. Local strategies are being and in line with EU policies. The cooling. Focusing on residential and
developed together with six cities pilot areas of Aalborg (Denmark), commercial buildings, this approach
across Europe: Herten (Germany), Bistrita (Romania), Frankfurt will be developed and tested in 6
Litomerice (Czech Republic), (Germany), Geneva (Suisse), Milton local district heating and cooling
Matosinhos (Portugal), Helsingor Keynes (UK), Kerry County (Ireland), networks in the UK, Ireland,
(Denmark), Brasov (Romania), and and San Sebastian (Spain) will Belgium, France, and the
Ansfelden (Austria). co-design, test and validate to Netherlands.
ensure the open-source software is user-friendly.
Members in the spotlight

Financing the energy renovation of buildings:
When budgets are low, creativity rises!
While ensuring proper energy renovation of the EU’s building stock is crucial to achieve our energy transition,
austerity and cuts in public budgets limit the action of local authorities. So a number of Energy Cities members have
been testing 3 innovative financing schemes... and it works!

Soft loans Residential sector (private residential buildings, social housing)
Home owners can borrow money to carry out energy-efficient renovation work in their homes for a lower interest
rate than the standard market conditions.
There are three business model alternatives you can opt for depending on the money and staff available:

Option 1 Option 2 Option 3
You do not have money You have some money You have a significant budget

Partner banks provide soft loans. Partner banks provide soft loans, but the Local authorities set up a revolving fund
local/regional authority subsidises the inte- which disburses soft loans and pays a fund
rest rates, pays for the banks’ operational manager.
costs and a guarantee fund.
© Matteo Fornari

© LiveRIGA
© Yves Fonck

Zoom on Parma, Italy
192,000 inhabitants
Zoom on Riga, Latvia
Carbon footprint of the city’s housing
Zoom on Brussels-Capital 647,424 inhabitants
stock: 32 %
Region, Belgium
Carbon footprint of the city’s housing
Main challenge: 1,188,000 inhabitants
stock: 32 %
Given the tight budgetary situation, it was
Carbon footprint of the city’s housing
impossible for the municipality to set up Main target:
stock: 39 %
a revolving fund, nor a guarantee fund as Multi-apartment post-war dwellings with a
requested by banks. Main challenge: high energy-saving potential represent 75%
No financial instruments for low to medium- of the total number of buildings in the city.
income households existed.
Despite that obstacle, a local bank – Solution:
Cassa di Risparmio di Parma e Piacenza – Solution: Set up a revolving fund to offer homeowners
answered the call for interest and signed a Partnership with two financing institutions: long-term, low interest loans that would
partnership agreement with the city. • Crédal offers a short-term consumer loan be reimbursed through their energy bills,
The bank and the municipal energy agency with a 0-1% interest rate accompanied by free-of-charge technical
have developed a fruitful cooperation: the • The Housing Fund offers a long-term expertise.
bank provides financial expertise and the mortgage with a 0-2% interest rate.
agency technical support.
Loans issued: 857
Objective: 700 loans in 2017
Energy Cities N° 45 I p.12
Energy Cities N° 45 I p.13
Zoom on Stuttgart, Germany
609,200 inhabitants
Third-party investment Solution: Development of a “care-free
renovation package”
Residential sector (private
residential buildings, social Partnership with:
housing) • A municipal ESCO which finances
the works for condominiums of min.

© WernerDieterich
A scheme in which the investment 20 housing units with energy supply
on the building is not carried out by contracting
the homeowner but by a third-party • The Energy Advice Centre which provides
investor. Thus the homeowner does homeowners with tailor-made support for
Carbon footprint of the city’s housing
not take on a debt but pays a service energy-efficient retrofitting
stock: 33 %
fee to the investor. • A general contractor in charge of
Main challenge: Increasing the annual coordinating the renovation works.
refurbishment rate – which was stagnating
at 1% - to meet its ambitious goal: climate For two types of retrofitting works: heating
neutrality by 2050 system and building envelope.

Revolving fund and Internal Contracting
Public sector (public buildings,
equipment and facilities)

The purpose of Internal Contracting is Zoom ON Àgueda, Portugal Zoom ON Stuttgart,
to enable the municipality to finance 47,800 inhabitants Germany
multiple investments aimed at energy 609,200 inhabitants
savings without being bound to an
external contractor. It is based on Stuttgart was the first city to set up an
the following process: a “client” Intracting scheme back in 1995.
department within the local authority
© Patrick Ferreira

submits an energy-saving project. Year of creation of the fund: 1995
The project and its energy-saving Fund size (2016): 20,8 m euros
potential are examined by the energy Core team in charge: Municipal energy
department. If the payback period department
proves acceptable and the project Year of creation of the fund: 2016 Number of measures implemented:
cost-effective, an agreement is signed Fund size (2016): 300,000 euros More than 340 agreements
between the two departments. The Core team in charge: Municipal
“client” department starts repaying the Division of Environment and Sustainable
investment the following year. These Development
repayments are then used to finance Number of measures implemented: 2
other projects.

These activities were carried out as part of the EU-funded Infinite
Solutions project that just came to an end. Bordeaux Métropole
(France), Frederikshavn (Denmark), Delft (The Netherlands), Udine (Italy),
Almada (Portugal) and Koprivnica (Croatia) also tested these innovative

Through two guidebooks the 11 Infinite Solutions partners are providing
guidance to other local and regional governments and stakeholders for
setting up financial schemes to save energy in buildings.
© macrovector (123rf)
The Energy Union Menu:
Time to add the missing ingredients!
The project to create a “European gotten some important elements. For Instead of a narrow focus on creating
Energy Union”, much like the idea example, shouldn’t the main ingredient a single market, the Energy Union pro-
of a common European defence, be about transitioning to a greener, ject should help reconnect the EU with
carries a strong symbolic meaning decentralised energy system? If so, its citizens. One efficient way of doing
and presents a unique opportunity market forces alone cannot be trusted so would be to count on the commit-
to re-inject some sort of legitimacy to do the job. As a recent report by the ment and active contribution of local
and common vision into European CE Delft institute has shown, the real governments. Unfortunately, the new
integration. potential to deliver a 100% renewable proposal on the governance of the
Europe lies at the local level, with com- Energy Union makes no provision for
Broadly speaking, the current proposal munity energy projects. According to dialogue or active involvement of cities
for an Energy Union aims at: the report’s findings, prosumers in defining Member States’ long-term
• Creating a borderless single energy (citizens producing their own energy) climate energy roadmaps. So when
market, where gas and electricity and cooperatives could produce half of the European Commission talks about
would freely flow across Europe Europe’s electricity by 2050. However, an Energy Union “with citizens at its
based on price and demand such projects often need an enabling core”, we had better take this with a
• Providing a governance mechanism framework to get off the ground. As a grain of salt.
to structure Member States’ indivi- matter of fact, this is not the case with
dual contributions to the 2030 cli- the European State Aid Guidelines
mate and energy targets which are now imposing an auctioning
mechanism on Member States... This
At first glance, the menu looks pretty makes it impossible for cooperatives The Covenant of Mayors going
good, but it seems the chefs have for- to compete. global: A European success
In 2017, the Covenant of Mayors opens a
new chapter in its successful journey. By
Energy Efficiency: Smart Finance for Smart Buildings Initiative merging with the UN-backed Compact of
launched by the European Commission Mayors, the Covenant of Mayors
Last November 2016, the European • Develop “flexible financing platforms” becomes the Global Covenant of
Commission unveiled a gigantic package with the European Investment Bank and Mayors, the world’s pioneering urban
of energy legislation, notably giving a Member States climate and energy initiative.
facelift to its directives on renewables, • Reinforce Project Development Back in 2008, the Covenant was
energy efficiency and the energy perfor- Assistance (i.e. mechanisms like launched in Europe to bring together
mance of buildings. The “Smart Finance ELENA) cities voluntarily committed to going
for Smart Buildings” initiative is meant to • Encourage Member States to develop beyond the EU’s climate targets. Its
complete this set of legislation with ade- local/regional one-stop shops for pro- trademarks are bottom-up governance
quate tools, creating favourable long-term ject developers and multi-level cooperation. Over the
conditions for energy efficiency projects. • Kick-start the EU Building Stock years, it has expanded to Eastern
Observatory Europe, the South Mediterranean and
In a nutshell, the aim of this newcomer to • Improve and expand the “De-Risking Sub-Saharan Africa.
the EU funding family will be to: Energy Efficiency Platform” which The Global Covenant will capitalise on
• Ensure the best use of European includes data on over 7,000 energy effi- the success story of the EU Covenant,
Structural and Investment Funds, alone ciency projects across Europe. and enable cities worldwide to jointly
and in combination with the European drive forward the energy transition!
Fund for Strategic Investments
Energy Cities N° 45 I p.14
Energy Cities N° 45 I p.15

Energy Cities recommends...
THE EU URBAN AGENDA The EU Urban Bridge! Better Urban EEA Report No 12/2016

Agenda Toolbox EU regulation adaptation
Urban adaptation to climate change in Europe 2016
Transforming cities in a changing climate
Condensed version

Build your sustainable community with the EIB and the CoR ISSN 1977-8449

European Investment for local to climate
and regional change
Better EU regulation for local and regional authorities

Bank, June 2016
To improve access to authorities in Europe
financing and help local Kenniscentrum 2016 —
and regional decision- Europa decentraal, Transforming
makers use existing May 2016 cities in a
funds more effectively, Apart from a quantitative analysis, changing climate
the European Investment Bank shares Bridge! contains nine concrete
knowledge with local and regional European Environment Agency -
examples of issues with which July 2016
decision-makers through a series provincial authorities, municipalities
of initiatives linked to the EU urban This report focuses on the state
and water authorities are confronted of actions in urban adaptation and
programmme. The EIB has provided during the implementation of
EUR 95 billion in urban lending over progress achieved since the first EEA
European law and regulation. These report in 2012. The report tackles a
the last five years and is extending examples are illustrative for the chal-
that financing to projects with a higher burning question: Do existing actions
lenges that these authorities have to lead to attractive, climate-resilient
risk under the European Fund for face during the execution of projects cities and if not, what needs to be
Strategic Investments, part of the regarding such policy fields as digital changed? The report targets local,
Investment Plan for Europe. transition, circular economy, housing, regional, national and European sustainable land use, urban mobility, governments and organisations as
thematic/the_eu_urban_agenda_ energy transition and air quality. well as experts and researchers
toolbox_en.pdf concerned with urban adaptation. Beyond that, it includes perspectives
wp-content/uploads/2016/05/ and ideas that may interest
Available in English, German, Condensed-version-Bridge.pdf
Spanish, French, Polish and communities, individual citizens
Slovak. or businesses too.

The trendy word Publication

Tactical urbanism Local energy
“Many a mickle makes a muckle”, says
a British proverb and this is probably the
ownership in Europe
best way to understand what tactical A new exploratory study by Energy Cities
urbanism is about. Instead of transforming
Devolution, remunicipalisation, citizen
a city through bold, radical and expensive
projects or participatory governance:
measures only, tactical urbanism is about
there are multiple paths that lead to
low-cost, temporary changes in the built
locally-generated and managed energy.
environment. This approach, which first
To better understand these concepts and
emerged in 2010 in the United States,
the emerging dynamics in Europe, Energy
aims to improve public space through
Cities conducted an exploratory study
collective action. Local, community-based
in three countries: Germany, the UK and
initiatives such as guerrilla gardening, the
living streets movement or pop-up cafés France.
are great examples of this creative and
powerful means of questioning traditional enc_resume_eng_20_ok_web.pdf
mindsets. There is hardly a better way
to inspire policy-makers to shape urban
space in a more sustainable and socially-
friendly way: short-term action to trigger
long-term change.



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