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19 October 2015

Interview with Artiza Elosegui – Representing Commitment ‘3564 – Public/Private Resources for District Refurbishment Master Plans’

Could you describe your commitment in a few words?

The SINFONIA project is to deploy large-scale, integrated and scalable energy solutions in mid-sized European cities. The cities of Bolzano (Italy) and Innsbruck (Austria) are working hand in hand to achieve 40 to 50% primary energy savings and increase the share of renewables by 20% in two pioneer districts. This will be done through an integrated set of measures combining the retrofitting of more than 100,000m² of living surface, the optimisation of the electricity grid and solutions for district heating and cooling.

Our commitment, which is one of the work packages led by Zabala Innovation Consulting, is dedicated to the transferability and scalability of the solutions deployed in the two pioneer districts. To achieve this, a limited set of district typologies and corresponding refurbishment models will be defined, enabling cities to easily assess their needs and efficiently define their long-term refurbishment strategies. To further ensure their scalability and transferability, these models and typologies will be tested and validated with all stakeholders involved – public and private, from citizen to energy regulators – not only in Innsbruck and Bolzano, but also in five ‘early adopter’ cities which are actively participating in SINFONIA: Pafos (CY), Rosenheim (DE), Seville (ES), La Rochelle (FR)and Borås (SE).

Our commitment is to work on the economic impacts and EU-wide integrated assessment of the replication potential of a smart district template based on the two large scale demonstrators. The implementation and monitoring of these two demonstration cities will provide:

  • a robust district optimization model for the district template
  • scaling and replication rules for the same district template which allow different district sizes and different climatic zones and different energy regulatory regimes to be addressed

This commitment will use the tools obtained from the two demonstrations extensively in order to reach out to the seven Member States involved (Austria, Italy, Cyprus, France, Germany, Spain and Sweden) a coherent impact analysis and provide:

  • the expected energy and CO2 emission savings when using the district template
  • the investments required to reach such savings
  • the critical success factors to address seven different regulatory regimes

To go one step further, an impact assessment for the remaining 21 Member States will be carried out to provide bounds for energy demand reduction and the related investments.

What is the status of your commitment progress right now?

The main results of our commitment are expected in 2017 and 2018, since the availability of results from the pilot cities is required in order to develop the necessary analysis for evaluating the economic impact. Refurbishment plans are under deployment and the results of the implemented innovative solutions will come in the following stages of the project.

So far we have established a deployment plan for the transferability and scalability of the solutions and we have analysed the needs expectations from the two pilot cities and five early adopter cities regarding the final assessments to be delivered by this commitment. We have also designed a first version of a questionnaire specifically addressing the early adopter cities, in order to collect added-value information such as demography, sociology, utility (energy/water/waste/gas/electricity…), mobility, climate, etc.

What are your main strengths to achieve your goals?

Our main strengths lie in the long-term experience and expertise of the organisations involved in this commitment, along with the rest of the partners of the SINFONIA project ranging from cities, research institutions, SMEs, energy companies and others. The collaboration with expert partners is essential for the success of this commitment.

The commitment is specifically focused on scaling up and replicating integrated smart city solutions that combine building refurbishment, heating and cooling and electricity grids at district level. By integrating the proven innovative solutions at district level in the two pioneer cities, we will achieve an in-depth district optimisation methodology for cities which is replicable at the EU level.

The methodology for the analysis will go from the evaluation of impact (both economic and environmental) at the district scale to the evaluation at the national scale to provide guidelines to transfer it to Innsbruck, Bolzano, La Rochelle, Seville, Paphos, Rosenheim and Borås and their respective Member States.

What are your main weaknesses and how could the Market Place help you to overcome them?

One of the aims of the SINFONIA project is to share the experiences of demonstration cities and early adopter cities to offer peer-to-peer support to other cities and communities interested in implementing their own district-scale refurbishment strategies towards greater energy efficiency. Thanks to the EIP-SCC, we would like to disseminate our know-how and expertise and to engage cities in our Replication Cluster. By joining the Replication Cluster, cities will join a community of like-minded cities interested in integrated refurbishment solutions for districts, and access a series of knowledge exchange activities with other cities facing the same challenges, such as field visits, thematic workshops or peer review of master plans.

What are your next steps?

Regarding the life cycle cost assessment, the next step is the detailed analysis of the investment of the two pioneer cities and operational costs to assess the economic viability of the different pilot concepts. In the two pilots, partners will analyse CO2 savings, profitability of the tested business models, options to optimise the resulting figures, impacts for the society in terms of jobs created for maintenance/repair and the internalisation of extra added value coming from refurbishment in Bolzano and Innsbruck.