Making the right decision to change the environment, requires the right environment to take these decisions in.
Cities hold the ke y to climate change
Our cities are home to over half of the global population. Although our home, cities account for 75% of global CO2 emissions and are therefore the major contributor to the climate challenges we face. This is why cities play a crucial role in realizing ambitious local, national, and international energy and emissions reduction targets, like the 40% CO2 reduction in 2030 target in the EU. The challenge? They can’t do this alone, cities need to involve and engage key stakeholders and need good data to base their decisions on.
How to unlock cities potential
While playing a critical role in meeting these targets, most of the cities and their stakeholders are struggling to define and select longerreaching and still financially feasible actions. Many cities as well as some of their key stakeholders have already defined their energy strategies, emission targets, and broader sustainability agendas, but these are generally a collection of well-meant intentions that are not easily translated into specific interventions or regulatory actions. The projected impact of these strategies is mostly based on simple top-down estimates. In most cases there is a lack of clear insight into the cost-effectiveness of specific projects or policies, as well as possible interdependencies between them.
The choices that need to be made in developing an effective and actionable energy transformation agenda, depend largely on city specific geo-spatial characteristics and the decision making context within and between different stakeholders in that city. For every stakeholder in an urban environment different instruments and options to intervene are available, like implementation of solar panels and heat pumps, large scale renovations or the roll out of a district heating grid. Different situational factors (e.g. capacity to invest or the perception of benefits) determine the attractiveness of these options. Due to these complexities an urban system cannot be accurately described and analyzed from the top-down perspective. This is the main reason why cities should move beyond the top-down and onesize- fits-all approach and start basing their decisions on more detailed bottom-up analysis using location specific and granular geospatial energy data.
Working with the city data at the granular level will provide valuable insights about the current energy use and emissions, but even more about the opportunities to make a significant impact in the future, and reach city specific energy and emissions targets. It allows for much more effective analysis and a far more accurate estimate of the potential impacts interventions might have on the urban energy system.
For cities to realize their ambitious energy and emissions targets they will need to:
• harvest insights from granular and location specific geo-spatial energy data,
• enable more informed and fact-based discussion between different stakeholders,
• understand which combination of interventions will have the most impact,
• increase the speed and quality of energy transition related decision making, and
• enable continuous process of translating these decisions into specific actions.
TRANSFORM your cit y towards a low carbon city
TRANSFORM is a European project in which six leading cities (Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Genoa, Hamburg, Lyon and Vienna) supported by a consortium of energy companies, knowledge institutes and commercial partners focused on accelerating the transition to become low carbon cities.
All of these cities are still primarily dependent on non-renewable sources of energy, with coal and gas playing a major role. At the same time the CO2 reduction targets are very ambitious, ranging from 20% to 100% reduction by 2025. Considering the current energy mix, this represents a significant transformation challenge for these cities and their stakeholders. The TRANSFORM program helped to address this by providing both quantitative and qualitative support to improve and integrate current energy strategies of these cities and help them implement these strategies in the urban context.
Decision Support Environment :
the environment for the right decisions
To enable and sustain fact-based and informed decision making Accenture, a global management consulting an IT company, together with the Austrian Institute for Technology (AIT) developed the Decision Support Environment (DSE). A transparent web based environment that enables city stakeholders and decision makers to visualize and analyze their open energy data, create different transformation plans, and evaluate impact of these plans on key performance indicators (e.g. CO2, renewables, costs) under a variety of future scenarios. In the case of Amsterdam three types of data of roughly 400.000 buildings form the basis of the Decision Support Environment:
1. Building specific information (age, surface, energy label, type, function etc)
2. Energy consumption (electricity, gas and heat consumption)
3. Energy potential (solar and wind potential as well as geo-thermal and thermal storage capacities)
Based on these data sets the DSE offers: 1. Visualization of data sets (with the possibility to layer multiple data sets on top of each other)
2. Analysis of energy usage for a building, street or selected area
3. Simulation of effects of energy reduction and or renewable energy measures
The simulation capabilities offers useful insights that helps to understand and compare different energy solutions on energetic and CO2 impact as well as the financial implications. After successful testing and co-development, Amsterdam is using the DSE as platform for energy planning in new build and redevelopment areas. Currently ten different energy reduction and renewable energy measures, like heat pumps, solar panels, and district heating grid, are modelled and used.
To ensure maximal transparency the DSE has an open structure: adjusting existing or adding new measures is part of the basic functionality. Since the DSE is a web based environment, all cities can use the tool and learn from each other. By just providing datasets a city can get started.
The open environment enables exponential learning :
an advantage for all
The Decision Support Environment enables cities to interact with stakeholders and to discuss future energy scenarios based on factual data: a fundamental basis to develop the right energy transition strategy and involve all stakeholders and decision makers. The DSE developed and tested in the TRANSFORM project offers clear advantages to city planners and energy experts: • Due to the high granularity of geo spatial data it gives highly accurate predictions and endless possibilities in combining and timing of energy measures.
• The flexibility of the DSE unmatched, it can easily be extended with other data sets and measures.
• The usage of the DSE is intuitive and the cost of using are limited.
The tool and the outcomes are relevant for a broad audience. To engage stakeholders from the beginning a Serious Game has been developed.
• The open character of the DSE stimulates cooperation and knowledge exchange.
The TRANSFOM cities and partners are very supportive in sharing their experiences and accomplishments. We invite you to learn more about the TRANSFORM and the DSE and start to accelerate the energy transition in your city! We need data to base our decisions upon and a change in will to make it happen.
Read more about the DSE tool: www.urbantransform.eu