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Phasing out Fossil Fuels from Heating & Cooling

30th November, 2020

Cities have a key role in tackling climate change but often lack the resources and capacity to deliver. Representing Dublin, Codema, along with six other cities — Bilbao, Bratislava, Munich, Rotterdam, Vienna and Winterthur —  wants to change this. With the help of EU funding, these regions will acquire the skills and knowledge to decarbonise heating and cooling in huildings by 2050, with a special focus on phasing out natural gas.

Guided by some real heavyweights from the European energy industry, consultancy and policy making sectors on the project’ s Advisory Board, these cities will develop actionable transition roadmaps to energy efficient, zero-carbon heating and cooling sectors by 2050.

Responsible for roughIy half of the EU’s final energy consumption, transforming heating and cooling to energy efficient, renewable solutions will be critical to bring EU countries in line with their pledged climate targets. Given the long life-cycles of the grid infrastructures involved, there is an urgency to start the planning of this transition today.

“That's easier said than done”, states coordinator  of this  effort,  Judith  Neyer  of  Urban  Innovation Vienna, the city’s energy agency, at the project’s kick-off meeting with the Advisory Board.   “The   energy   system   is   profoundly   complex,   notoriously   sluggish   with  substantial technological uncertainties to face. For a city to act wisely, it needs high levels of knowledge and skills as well as a legal mandate to act — all of which is frankly lacking. Our answer to this is teamwork - and to recruit the most competent and distinguished help available!” The cities make a point of planning this transition with the key players they need to get the job done. This is why the local energy utilities and distributors are on board.

Lisa Fischer, Senior Policy Adviser at think tank E3G is convinced, “Cities are the linchpin of decarbonisation. It is fantastic that cities are driving the agenda for zero-emissions and fossil-free heating systems. I am looking forward to helm f/›ink fcro‹/gñ now nop/’ono/ and EU frameworks can catcn up wi’tl, support and eventually scale this bottom up innovation.”

The Horizon 2020 project Decarb City Pipes 2050 brings together a diverse group of European cties, from frontrunners to beginners, who have teamed up to learn from one another, coordinate their work and share solutions. Together, the cities will build up their skills in the use of data, planning tools, govern ance framework as well as process and transition management.

Andris Piebalgs, former EU Energy Commissioner and Professor at the Florence School of Regulation supports the cities as Advisory Board Member: “I applaud these cities for their determination to get real with the energy transition. My hope is that the project will motivate and enable many more cities across Europe to follow their lead.”

Decarb City Pipes 2050 — Transition Roadmaps to energy efficient, zero-carbon urban heating and cooling is a 3-year (July 2020 to August 2023) project funded under the Horizon 2020 Energy Efficiency Programme. A kick-off meeting with the Advisory Board was held on 5 November 2020.

Coordinator is Urban Innovation Vienna. The Cities of Bilbao, Bratislava, Munich, Rotterdam, Vienna, Winterthur and Dublin, represented through its local energy agency Codema participate. Scientific partners Halmstad (SE) and Utrecht (NL) University support on techno-economical and transition-management aspects. Energy Cities is responsible for capacity-building and dissemination to spread the word to more European cities.

Advisory Board:
The following distinguished energy experts from the field of industry, policy-making, communication, consultancy and think-tanks serve on the projects Advisory Board:
• Pallas Agterberg, Head of Strategy and Innovation, Alliander
• Lisa Fischer, Policy Officer, E3G
• Sabine Froning, Partner, Communication Works (former GB Euroheat & Power)
• Kees van der Leun, Director, Guidehouse NL
• Andris Piebalgs, Professor, Florence School of Regulation (former EU Energy Commissioner)
• Els Struiving, Energy Community “Buurtwarmte Paddepoel”, Groningen
• James Watson, Secretary General, Eurogas

For more information see: https://cordi.s.eurona.erJ/groiect/id/89350