SunHorizon participated at the 3rd edition of DecarbCities, hosted by the City of Vienna (MuseumsQuartier) on the 11st and 12nd of May 2022.
The urgency of the EU’s net zero emissions targets fits into the recent energy crisis in Europe and set out a clear call to accelerate the heat transition towards sustainable low-carbon supply. In this context, the electrification of heat, through technologies such as heat pumps and other convenient solutions (solar thermal, geothermal, etc), are becoming more and more favorable.
The aim of the Conference was to fuel the ongoing debate on national and regional energy and climate plans as well as renovation strategies, as mandated by the European legislation on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and building efficiency. It brought together industry, government, academia, legislative bodies and leaders from across the EU.
More than 200 participants joined the diverse program of panel sessions and expert interventions covering technical and organizational solutions from and for cities. The various panels and discussions show a breadth of approaches to replace existing fossil fuel-based combustion technologies with heating systems, that use renewable energies.
A special focus was given to solutions for existing buildings in the urban context, such as multi-family homes and renovation processes, as well as the need for competence in the value chain and optimized customer journey.
SunHorizon and REWARDHeat, together with other projects, participated at the World Cafè on the second day. It consisted in a roundtable discussions on existing tools and best practices for local players to design and roll out their strategy.
As part of the REWARDHeat project, the development of business models and financial schemes was presented, with a focus on the Bankability of investments.
After a brief introduction of the project, the speakers presented the work carried out within Deliverable 3.3 – Bankability for REWARDHeat demonstrators. The main bankability criteria were briefly presented, before moving on to the due diligence package for REWARDHeat Demonstrators. Indeed, each demosite received a list of questions (divided into 6 categories) that potential investors could ask to assess the risks and opportunities associated with the project to be supported. These questions constitute a check list to qualitatively assess the bankability of the proposed projects, a sort of specific due diligence package for the aspects of district heating, to be applied in parallel with the conventional technical-financial checks.
RINA has assessed the scalability and replicability of the three most common types of investment in LTDHC projects based on the results of the analysis carried out on bankability and on the assumptions and financial support available at national level:
- Greenfield LTDH projects: involve the construction of a new LTDH network based on the exploitation of a renewable or excess heat source, as in the case of the REWARDHeat demonstrators in Milan (Balilla and Gadio), Helsingborg and Mölndal.
- Retrofitting of the existing DH to LTDH: involves the adoption of actions for the energy transition of existing networks, as in the REWARDHeat demonstrators in Albertslund and Topusko or the optimization of the existing DHN through innovative devices such as in the REWARDHeat demonstrators in Mijnwater and Toulon.
- Investments in district cooling: although not fully represented among the REWARDHeat demonstrators, would constitute a relevant solution for the study of bankability, replicability and scalability.
During the presentation the opportunities for the first two types of LTDHN were discussed.
These three demo sites have been chosen according to the aim of the Conference and to showcase three different types of buildings to incentivize the replicability of the solutions presented. The various photos of the projects were useful to describe more specifically which technology packages have been implemented. In addition, the risks and the technical and social difficulties encountered during the implementation of the project were exposed for each demo site. In this sense, some common difficulties are the fact that the technologies are very little known and the need for more space.
As for Sant Cugat, the use of the SunHorizon App and the activities carried out within the Center Cultural Mirasol were also explained.
„Cities are not part of the problem but part of the solution. Vienna is heating up, so there is a need for urgent actions, as we want to reach climate neutrality in all sectors by 2040“, stated Jürgen Czernohorszky, Executive City Councilor for Climate, Environment, Democracy and Personnel, City of Vienna.
The DecarbCities Conference is jointly organized by the Energy Cities, European Heat Pump Association, City of Vienna, Urban Innovation Vienna and Wärmepumpe Austria.
Here you can find the REWARDHeat’s presentation.
Here you can find the SunHorizon’s presentation.