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OVERVIEW | An Introduction to Energy Communities: the interplay with the building sector and the role of technology

OVERVIEW | An Introduction to Energy Communities: the interplay with the building sector and the role of technology | Energy Transition in Europe | www.energy-cities.eu | Scoop.it

To achieve decarbonisation and increase the use of RES, the future energy system will need to be more citizen-oriented, and will be based not only on sophisticated control, but also on final user awareness. In the building sector, technology can be an enabler for energy communities to provide new services and support user engagement and participation in the energy transition.
The Energy Community concept lays the foundation for the formalisation of this role. However, it is important to mention that the legislative framework for energy communities may evolve with the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive, expected in July 2021 and with the implementation at the national level.

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The Potential of Behavioural Interventions for Optimising Energy Use at Home – Analysis

The Potential of Behavioural Interventions for Optimising Energy Use at Home – Analysis | Energy Transition in Europe | www.energy-cities.eu | Scoop.it

Whether we are boiling water to make tea, activating a home appliance or relaxing under a hot shower, our daily behaviours and choices at home are important drivers of energy consumption.

IEA energy analyst Elisabetta Cornago looks at the potential for enhancing energy efficiency with policies and programmes designed to educate consumers and encourage them to alter their daily habits – without resorting to large-scale structural improvements. This focus is motivated by the observation that interventions aimed at promoting behavioural change are often cheaper to implement relative to policies that seek to encourage investment. Such measures also tend to be relatively quick to design and implement.

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Histoires d’eau: 3 nuances de gestion en commun

Histoires d’eau: 3 nuances de gestion en commun | Energy Transition in Europe | www.energy-cities.eu | Scoop.it
Au premier rang de ces ressources essentielles figure l’eau, dont la bonne gestion et la gouvernance (sa préservation, son mode de gestion mais aussi la pérennisation de ce dernier… ) sont un des enjeux majeurs des décennies à venir, à l’échelle planétaire comme à l’échelle locale, y compris dans des territoires qui semblaient jusqu’à présent préservés de tensions sur cette ressource. Quels rôles pour l’acteur public dans la gestion de cette ressource, entre meilleure implication des habitant.es, égalité d’accès et auto-gestion citoyenne ? Comment repolitiser le rapport à cette ressource essentielle voire, dans un contexte d’urgence climatique et environnementale, dessiner de véritables métamorphoses institutionnelles et juridiques ?
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Circular Economies & Regenerative Cultures

Circular Economies & Regenerative Cultures | Energy Transition in Europe | www.energy-cities.eu | Scoop.it
Very important work has been done over the last decade to take industrial ecology and the circular economy into the mainstream. A lot of credit has to be given to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. At the same time, it needs to be highlighted that the cascading of material and energy flows in small and fast and large and slow cycles is a core pattern of ecosystems and the biosphere. For most of our history as a species we managed our household (economy) based on understanding these patterns of nature (ecology). Bioregionally adapted ‘circular economies’ are nothing new. They are the only long term viable economies! Our current linear and globalised system is the aberration!
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Helsinki bets on electrification to decarbonise heating – EURACTIV.com

Helsinki bets on electrification to decarbonise heating – EURACTIV.com | Energy Transition in Europe | www.energy-cities.eu | Scoop.it
Electricity from heat pumps, combined with a shift to renewables in district heat networks, emerged as the winning technologies to drive the Finnish capital’s transition to carbon neutrality by 2035.

Finland has “a very strict target” to become carbon neutral by 2035 and the same goal applies to its capital city, said Kaisa-Reeta Koskinen, manager at the Carbon Neutral Helsinki project.

Helsinki has a huge challenge decarbonising its district heating system, which is currently entirely fuelled with coal and gas, she told a EURACTIV virtual event on 20 May.

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Dublin Cycling Buddy: new app for Dublin cyclists

Dublin Cycling Buddy: new app for Dublin cyclists | Energy Transition in Europe | www.energy-cities.eu | Scoop.it
A new app, Dublin Cycling Buddy, was launched by City council with the aim of helping cyclists identify bike-friendly routes around the capital. Thanks to data logged by bike users, the app will also be of great use for the local authority because it will help them to identify which cycle routes around the city …
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Hannah Evans on the key actions needed to accelerate the UK's net zero economy - Climate Action

Hannah Evans on the key actions needed to accelerate the UK's net zero economy - Climate Action | Energy Transition in Europe | www.energy-cities.eu | Scoop.it

The aim of the project was to understand the role and value of flexibility in meeting net zero targets.

It builds on previous analyses by the Carbon Trust and Imperial College London published in 2016 - the Energy Storage Report - Can Storage Help Reduce The Cost Of A Future UK Electricity System and An analysis of electricity system flexibility for Great Britain which was delivered with the UK government and focused on the power system. This has been a key reference point for informing energy strategy in the UK and supporting decision making for wider stakeholders.

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Does new German target mean Coal gone by 2029, Renewables 65% by 2030?

Does new German target mean Coal gone by 2029, Renewables 65% by 2030? | Energy Transition in Europe | www.energy-cities.eu | Scoop.it
The targets of the new climate protection law are ambitious. For example, CO2-emissions from the energy industry must fall to 108 in 2030 instead of 175 million metric tons (Mt) as previously planned. Energy Brainpool’s latest modelling shows that such a reduction can only be achieved with an early coal phase-out. In this article, we take you through the key findings of the calculations.

After the Federal Constitutional Court declared the previous Climate Protection Law partially unconstitutional at the end of April 2021, things suddenly moved very quickly. As a result, the federal cabinet passed an amendment to the Climate Protection Law just two weeks later on May 12, 2021.
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ECF: EU recovery plans squander chance to boost cycling – EURACTIV.com

ECF: EU recovery plans squander chance to boost cycling – EURACTIV.com | Energy Transition in Europe | www.energy-cities.eu | Scoop.it
European cycling groups have criticised EU countries for neglecting cycling in their National Recovery and Resilience Plans, saying the low levels of funding allocated by most member states will see them miss out on billions in economic and health benefits.
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Our society has come to believe that technology is the solution to our climate crisis – it isn’t – Energy in Demand – Sustainable Energy – Rod Janssen

Our society has come to believe that technology is the solution to our climate crisis – it isn’t – Energy in Demand – Sustainable Energy – Rod Janssen | Energy Transition in Europe | www.energy-cities.eu | Scoop.it
The climate crisis requires a new culture and politics, not just new tech

We are living through what scientists call the Anthropocene, a new geological age during which humans have become the dominant force shaping the natural environment. Many scientists date this new period to the post-second world war economic boom, the “great acceleration”. This rapid increase in our control over the Earth has brought us to the precipice of catastrophic climate change, triggered a mass extinction, disrupted our planet’s nitrogen cycles and acidified its oceans, among other things.
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For German youth activists, climate justice means more than getting to net-zero

For German youth activists, climate justice means more than getting to net-zero | Energy Transition in Europe | www.energy-cities.eu | Scoop.it
In recent years, climate has become a central topic in German politics. Whereas during the last federal elections in 2017 it was mainly the Green party calling for ambitious climate policies, now parties across the spectrum are putting the topic at the heart of their election programmes. In contrast to four years ago, the Greens are, for the first time, leading the polls, signalling that climate is a priority for many German voters. In a case started by climate activists, Germany’s highest court recently ruled that the government’s climate legislation falls short, a landmark decision that increased the momentum for more climate efforts. Only two weeks after the verdict, Merkel's cabinet pulled forward the climate neutrality target by five years to 2045. Now that climate protection has become mainstream, the question is not whether the country should transition to a clean energy economy, but how it should do so.
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Will the circular economy fly us to the moon? – EURACTIV.com

Will the circular economy fly us to the moon? – EURACTIV.com | Energy Transition in Europe | www.energy-cities.eu | Scoop.it
Increased recycling has come at the expense of greener activities like reuse. The European Union now needs to adopt a multidimensional approach to tackle Europe's waste problem and move towards circularity, writes Joan Marc Simon.

Looking back, in the last 30 years, Europe has reduced landfilling by around 30% and doubled recycling and incineration figures. At the same time, reuse/refill has been decimated and we are generating 20% more waste per capita. In other words, the bottom of the waste hierarchy has been getting fatter at the expense of the upper side. This confirms that, when the wise man pointed at the moon, all we could see was the waste accumulating on the finger. But it was just a pointer, a symptom. The good news is that we are finally collectively understanding that the solution lies elsewhere.

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IEA: Renewables should overtake coal ‘within five years’ to secure 1.5C goal

IEA: Renewables should overtake coal ‘within five years’ to secure 1.5C goal | Energy Transition in Europe | www.energy-cities.eu | Scoop.it
The world needs a “radical” shift towards renewables to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and secure the 1.5C goal, says the International Energy Agency (IEA).

This would see renewable energy overtake coal by 2026, passing oil and gas before 2030. By 2050, it should go on to meet two-thirds of global energy supply and nearly 90% of electricity generation.
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Circular Economy in Industrial Parks: Technologies for Competitiveness

Circular Economy in Industrial Parks: Technologies for Competitiveness | Energy Transition in Europe | www.energy-cities.eu | Scoop.it
The circular economy is now at the forefront of the competitiveness agenda for various industrial sectors, industrial parks, and firms. This report intends to provide practical recommendations on how industrial parks can promote the circularity of resources and strengthen competitiveness through innovative technologies and business models, and what governments can do to support such initiatives. It also aims to assist policy makers in identifying enablers of and barriers to the adoption of the proposed technologies.
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No More Waste: 10 Ways to Incorporate the Circular Economy into an Architectural Project

No More Waste: 10 Ways to Incorporate the Circular Economy into an Architectural Project | Energy Transition in Europe | www.energy-cities.eu | Scoop.it

A circular economy is an economic system aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources. Looking beyond the current take-make-waste extractive industrial model, a circular economy aims to redefine growth, focusing on positive society-wide benefits. It entails gradually decoupling economic activity from the consumption of finite resources and designing waste out of the system. Underpinned by a transition to renewable energy sources, the circular model builds economic, natural, and social capital.

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Evaluating the impact of nature-based solutions - Publications Office of the EU

Evaluating the impact of nature-based solutions - Publications Office of the EU | Energy Transition in Europe | www.energy-cities.eu | Scoop.it
The Handbook aims to provide decision-makers with a comprehensive NBS impact assessment framework, and a robust set of indicators and methodologies to assess impacts of nature-based solutions across 12 societal challenge areas: Climate Resilience; Water Management; Natural and Climate Hazards; Green Space Management; Biodiversity; Air Quality; Place Regeneration; Knowledge and Social Capacity Building for Sustainable Urban Transformation; Participatory Planning and Governance; Social Justice and Social Cohesion; Health and Well-being; New Economic Opportunities and Green Jobs. Indicators have been developed collaboratively by representatives of 17 individual EU-funded NBS projects and collaborating institutions such as the EEA and JRC, as part of the European Taskforce for NBS Impact Assessment, with the four-fold objective of: serving as a reference for relevant EU policies and activities; orient urban practitioners in developing robust impact evaluation frameworks for nature-based solutions at different scales; expand upon the pioneering work of the EKLIPSE framework by providing a comprehensive set of indicators and methodologies; and build the European evidence base regarding NBS impacts. They reflect the state of the art in current scientific research on impacts of nature-based solutions and valid and standardized methods of assessment, as well as the state of play in urban implementation of evaluation frameworks.
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Une île grecque devient un “laboratoire de la décarbonisation”

Une île grecque devient un “laboratoire de la décarbonisation” | Energy Transition in Europe | www.energy-cities.eu | Scoop.it
Baptisée “le papillon de la mer Égée” en raison de sa forme, cette île de 1 300 habitants est visitée chaque année par quelque 70 000 touristes pour ses plages immaculées, sa mer cristalline et ses maisons blanches.

A l’horizon 2026, le projet ambitionne de faire d’Astypaléa “la première île durable de Méditerranée”, où “la mobilité sera électrique, alimentée par une électricité verte produite localement”, promet le gouvernement grec, qui a déployé mercredi plusieurs ministres dont le Premier ministre Kyriakos Mitsotakis sur l’île de l’archipel du Dodécanèse.
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“Open Streets” in Bucharest: cleaner air and healthier life

“Open Streets” in Bucharest: cleaner air and healthier life | Energy Transition in Europe | www.energy-cities.eu | Scoop.it
Great news from Romanian capital: several downtown streets closed to cars and opened to pedestrians on weekends, with the goal of creating more promenade areas in Bucharest. This action is called “Open streets” project and it took place this weekend (May 29-30). Mayor of Bucharest Nicusor Dan said on social media: “This project is an …
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UK Government announces £44 million cash boost to cut emissions from buildings - Climate Action

UK Government announces £44 million cash boost to cut emissions from buildings - Climate Action | Energy Transition in Europe | www.energy-cities.eu | Scoop.it
Tens of thousands of UK homes, businesses and public buildings are one step closer to benefitting from greener, cleaner energy thanks to £44 million of government funding.

The funding package addresses the urgent need to reduce the carbon footprint of heating homes and workspaces which makes up almost a third of all UK carbon emissions.

Of the £44 million funding announced today, £30 million will fund 3 innovative heat network projects providing low carbon energy in south-east London, Manchester and Cambridgeshire, whilst helping to bring down energy bills.
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Brussels offers EU countries greater say on green finance taxonomy – EURACTIV.com

Brussels offers EU countries greater say on green finance taxonomy – EURACTIV.com | Energy Transition in Europe | www.energy-cities.eu | Scoop.it
The European Commission has offered EU member states a greater role in deciding which technologies can be considered a sustainable investment in Europe after narrowly escaping a humiliating defeat last year over draft labelling rules for gas under its green finance taxonomy.
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Timmermans: EU countries need to face the consequences of higher climate goals – EURACTIV.com

Timmermans: EU countries need to face the consequences of higher climate goals – EURACTIV.com | Energy Transition in Europe | www.energy-cities.eu | Scoop.it
European Union member states have agreed to reach climate neutrality by 2050 and increase their level of ambition for 2030. This means Europe needs to amend all its climate policies, including its Emissions Trading Scheme, the EU's climate chief, Frans Timmermans, told EURACTIV in an exclusive interview.
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Not Just Energy, but Everything

Not Just Energy, but Everything | Energy Transition in Europe | www.energy-cities.eu | Scoop.it

The criticality of the global energy situation is emphasised by the release, on schedule (18-5-21), of the eagerly awaited “Net Zero by 2050” roadmap (NZE) from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Although NZE is a guide, not a mandate, it fully identifies the steepness of the terrain that must be negotiated, with no new oil or gas fields to be approved, as of 2021. Instead, oil and gas producers would concentrate on output from existing fields, and in reducing any associated emissions. New coal mines and additional unabated coal fired power plants are also ruled out.

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Share of citizen energy in decline as funding runs out and big investors take over

Germany’s push to replace conventional power with renewables like wind and solar PV has not only altered its energy system and shaken up established energy utility giants, it has also turned millions of Germans into electricity producers. Citizens’ engagement and the appeal of independence and “energy democracy” are a reason Germans have strongly supported the energy transition despite higher power prices. But after 20 years, feed-in payments that first incentivised renewable power installations are ending, threatening to make these early adopters bystanders again. At the same time, it has been difficult for citizen energy groups to compete against bigger bidders in the government’s new auction system that sets remuneration for wind and solar parks, experts warn.
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Irish renewable energy experts designing “next generation” smart buildings – Energy in Demand – Sustainable Energy – Rod Janssen

Irish renewable energy experts designing “next generation” smart buildings – Energy in Demand – Sustainable Energy – Rod Janssen | Energy Transition in Europe | www.energy-cities.eu | Scoop.it
Irish renewable energy experts are designing “next generation” smart buildings where different technologies can “talk” to each other.

A community building in Mayo and a similar building in Italy will be used to test how solar panels, thermal storage and heat pumps can generate energy more efficiently.

Trinity College Dublin and Energy Co-operatives Ireland are collaborating in the €3.5 million Ideas (innovative integrated renewable energy system) project, supported by the EU Horizon 2020 programme.
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The People’s Parliament: A Home for European Democracy

The People’s Parliament: A Home for European Democracy | Energy Transition in Europe | www.energy-cities.eu | Scoop.it
More than any other European institution, the European Parliament bears the responsibility for nurturing the development of a truly trans-European citizenry. The path to building this European political and public sphere is riddled with pitfalls, created by both the EU’s political ecosystem and national political actors. Past, present, and potential future initiatives are promising, but they must be matched with sufficient political will and ambition.
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