HHH Assoc Dean Slotterback on US-EU team studying community energy strategies


  Energy and Buildings
Volume 158, 1 January 2018, Pages 123-134

IEA EBC annex 63–implementation of energy strategies in communities

  • Cities play a key role in implementing the Paris Agreement.
  • The implementation of energy strategies in communities is hereby a main challenge.
  • This challenge can be met with success by editing nine strategic measures.
H.Strassera, Salzburg Institute for Regional Planning and Housing, Salzburg, Austria
J.Kimman, ZUYD University of Applied Sciences, Heerlen, Netherlands
A.Koch, Institute for Regional Planning and Housing, Salzburg, Austria
O.Mair am Tinkhofa, EIfER I European Institute for Energy Research, Karlsruhe, Germany
D.Müllerd, RWTH Aachen University, E.ON Energy Research Center, Institute for Energy Efficient Buildings and Indoor Climate, Germany
J.Schiefelbeind, RWTH Aachen University, E.ON Energy Research Center, Institute for Energy Efficient Buildings and Indoor Climate, Germany
C.Slotterback, University of Minnesota, Urban and Regional Planning Program, United States


Technological improvements of HVAC-systems, buildings and other energy consuming products can support a reduction of CO2 emissions. The implementation of energy efficient technology is important to reach the climatic goals of the Paris agreement. As cities are the main contributors of greenhouse gas emissions, they offer great potential for implementation of energy efficiency measures and emission reduction. Thus, the question arises on how to support the implementation process. The main challenge is not only the implementation and usage of technologies, but also the optimisation of existing local instruments, processes and frameworks to efficiently support the implementation of energy strategies in communities. This paper summarises results of the Annex 63 − Implementation of Energy Strategies in Communities − within the Energy in Buildings and Communities Program (EBC) of the International Energy Agency (IEA). It includes procedures and best-practice examples to implement optimized energy strategies in communities. The implementation strategies deals with visions and targets, renewable energy strategies, legal frameworks, design of urban competition processes, tools supporting the decision making process, monitoring, stakeholder engagement, socio-economic criteria and organisation structures. For all of these strategic measures, specific guidelines were elaborated together with a worldwide network consisting of representatives from cities, urban and energy planners, consultants, universities and many other stakeholder groups.

1. Introduction

Cities are growing fast: By 2030, more than 60 % of all people worldwide will live in urban areas. To reach climatic goals, sustainable urban development is of great importance [28]. Moreover, cities are responsible for more than 70 % of the global CO2 emissions and consume more than two-thirds of the global energy [8]. Therefore, cities can play a key role in energy efficiency implementation to reach the Paris Agreement climatic goals, which aim at a large reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 [29]. To achieve a major reduction of emissions within cities, urban and energy planning are important. However, in most municipalities urban and energy planning work separated. Thus, ways to combine urban and energy planning have to be found. Within the International Energy Agency (IEA) − Energy in Buildings and Communities Program (EBC), 19 organisations from 11 countries worldwide are involved in Annex 63 − Implementation of Energy Strategies in Communities − to give recommendations on procedures for implementation of optimized energy strategies relative to urban development at the scale of communities [12]. This paper presents a summary of the elaborated strategic measures (Reports Volume 1 and 2; [9,11]). These description of strategic measures are completed by a municipality self-assessment-tool, description of necessary capacities and skills for implementation champions, description of suitable workshop formats and procedures for the stakeholder involvement, information slides for presentations, education materials for teaching this new discipline (Volume 4) and examples for the application of this strategic measures (Volume 3 and 5). All this materials should support cities to start the necessary transition management process and to manage all relevant issues like variety of stakeholders, variety of topics and many other issues like for example different targets, long project durations and market dynamics.

2. Background
Different energy sources, conversion technologies and the demand patterns influence the CO2 emissions of communities. Buildings and transportation within the communities are currently main consumers of energy and, therefore, major emitters of CO2 emissions. In many cases, standardised planning processes do not sufficiently support energy efficiency implementation. However, smart ways of integrating these efficiency measures into planning processes can support CO2 emission minimization. A previous IEA-EBC project, Annex 51 (Energy Efficient Communities), found that in many countries energy issues are missing in urban planning processes and energy planning is often performed without accounting for urban planning issues [14]. We state, that successful urban energy planning is only possible if energy planning is integrated in the entire urban planning process. Integrated planning has to deal with the increased complexity that comes from addressing multiple issues, diverse stakeholder-groups, conflicting interests and lack of instruments to support implementation. Therefore, innovation is not only required in technologies but also in the implementation processes. While urban planning is a major task in each city, its contribution in energy transition is not fully clear due to lack of knowledge and instruments [9]. Better integration of energy and urban planning requires the development of a “common language” and new tools, as well as better usage of existing instruments. The Annex 63 project offers essential insights on planning processes and stakeholder involvement that are necessary to set a framework for integrated energy and urban planning. In this context, “community” is understood as a functioning part of a city; it can be a municipality or a smaller sub-area such as a neighbourhood or district. Based on this research, this article offers recommendations on procedures for implementation of optimized energy strategies on the scale of cities, districts and local projects and their urban development. The application of the strategic measures depends mainly on the local framework conditions. Urban decision makers and urban and energy planners, as well as researchers working at the intersection of urban and energy issues are the target group.

3. Content

In the first step, a structured local and worldwide network was build up to integrate different expertise of different stakeholders into the project. The network consists of 29 cities (Salzburg, Vienna, Burlington, Guelph, London (Ontario), Toronto, Egedal, Middelfart, Roskilde, Skive, Lille, Strasbourg, Aachen, Ludwigsburg, Karlsruhe, Kitakyushu, Yokohama, Maastricht, Oslo, Bergen, Basel, Minneapolis, Graz, Ottawa, Pickering, Bottrop, Amsterdam, Parkstad and Zürich), local stakeholder groups (e.g. local utilities), 19 organisations from 11 countries (Austria, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, the United States of America), 31 network partners (e.g. city associations) and eight IEA programs/projects (EBC, ECES, HPC, SHC, DSM program management; Annex 56, Annex 64, Task 51). In the second step, relevant information of existing national legal frameworks, planning procedures, processes and measures in the fields of urban and energy planning has been gathered from different countries and cities via questionnaires. A measure is understood as an action or program that enables, engages or enforces the implementation process. 86 national and international meetings with 573 participants were carried out to analyse the collected information. The analyses led to a deeper understanding on the variety of framework conditions, planning procedures and the role of instruments. Based on this knowledge, generalized strategic measures were developed in nine specialised working groups consisting from project partners and external experts. Success factors and relevant aspects were identified and grouped for each strategic measure [9]. After that, 57 national and international expert workshops with an overall number of 1821 participants were performed. The feedback of municipalities and experts was integrated into the ongoing Annex work. Parallel to this development process, 27 case studies in the field of urban and energy planning from all over the world were analysed via questionnaires. The case study analysis led to the identification of important factors for successful implementation of energy efficiency measures. After that, the case studies were contextualized. Finally, all elaborated results were integrated into reports and presentations for different target groups. To prepare suitable stakeholder support materials, an analysis was carried out to identify the most important requirements of cities.

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