Accompany cities in energy strategy

Many European cities and regions need a sustainable development strategy that meets energy efficiency challenges. In order to support the energy transition of European cities, Accompany cities in energy strategy  (ACCENT) will provide new collective and individual data (statistical, sociological…) and tools (city mapping, building typology by district, insulation, etc.) to city stakeholders. Crossing relevant data helps to diagnose existing energetic situation, to develop strategies in terms of environmental and economic considerations. The interface will contribute to implement new strategies which maximise energy efficiency.

The climate change issue

Cities have a key role to play in the energy transition which is central to address climate change and resource scarcity. Cities tend to build and implement local energy strategies, often ignoring the global issues, and fail to consider mid-term and long-term scenario. However, many European cities are increasingly attempting to define their local energy strategies integrating both economic and environmental impacts. Copenhagen (Denmark) aims to become the first carbon neutral city by 2025 and Perpignan (France) produces all the electricity for its residents locally by 2015. In order to be effective in their energy transition, cities need to coordinate local stakeholders, provide detailed and relevant diagnosis of their region, and identify the potential for energy savings and renewable substitution. Mid and long-term strategies need to integrate the whole energy value chain, from production, distribution and consumption.

The project solution

ACCENT platform will offer an energy diagnosis of city buildings and districts by collecting data such as building typology, regional climate and energy networks and by estimating energy consumption and performance of buildings. City data will be displayed in a relevant spatial scale which will allow users to assess the efficiency of the city and to localise priority zones for action. Users will be able to define and assess energy strategies on several criteria : energy consumption reduction, costs and savings and greenhouse gas emissions. They will be able to select the best set of actions based on these criteria. This platform will be used to host and share the content produced. Appropriate data and energy strategy will be shared with other stakeholders such as network operators, urban planners, construction companies and citizens.

To date, ACCENT has collected the end users’ needs and specified accordingly the sub services offered by the platform. A first business model is established. The consistency of the platform tool will allow data comparison between all client cities or regions, to share best practices. Energy efficiency will be translated into carbon impact, a tangible environmental indicator.

A 2-year project will strengthen the offer. An experiment with two pilot cities and one region is being carried out: Paris, in France, Valencia in Spain and Emilia-Romagna region in Italy. The service will be first developed for analyzing buildings impacts. Mobility aspects could be integrated eventually. The tool will permit to define and assess energy strategies up to a 2020/2030 perspective. About 500 European cities with over 100,000 inhabitants are potentially the future customers of ACCENT services, especially in France, Spain and UK.