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Posted: Mar 22, 2013
EU-wide database makes results from energy efficiency projects accessible
(Nanowerk News) The EU CONCERTO initiative has presented a database of major construction and retrofitting projects which have already been or are still being carried out in 58 European municipalities and communities at Frankfurt's ISH 2013 trade fair.
"We're putting the wealth of technical, economic and political know-how, created in the 58 pilot communities, out there for municipalities and cities to find solutions and inspiration in overcoming the energy challenges through the use of a user-friendly, interactive database," said Sven Dammann of the European Commission's Directorate General for Energy.
"We can offer a wide variety of information," said Kilian Seitz of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the organisation that created the database.
As an example, communities can start by gaining an overview of technologies used in CONCERTO projects, along with the results of the projects, which include highly usable indicators such as CO2 avoidance costs and amortisation periods. Calculating these indicators includes both measured and calculated energy flow, with maximum transparency that assists in understanding how the values have been attained and how to interpret them correctly.
Users ranging from engineers to politicians can retrieve information in a form useful to their particular purpose by applying specific search criteria: topic – such as projects with solar thermal energy, target group – data and indicators that developers would be interested in and geographic or event-based indicators - useful for new construction projects or financing programme development. It even gives you answers to questions such as, 'Which showcase projects have shown the lowest CO2 avoidance costs,'" stated Seitz, although he also pointed out the need to take regional and national circumstances into account in the analysis – starting with projects in your own country is always a good idea.
Even so, everyone involved in the EU CONCERTO initiative would agree that taking a glance across national borders might well reward you with valuable insights from the database.
"Municipalities and communities planning energy efficiency projects and new installations to increase renewable energy utilisation can find solid arguments to clinch it for decision makers," claimed Emil ter Horst, from the Community of Almere in the Netherlands, on his visit to Frankfurt. Recent years have seen the creation of a new district that is supplied by heating from a solar thermal power plant as well as other sources. This ensures that 10 percent of the district's heating requirements can be produced locally from renewable sources in Almere. Overall, the project reduced CO2 emissions for heat energy by 93 percent and the electric power used is 100 percent green electricity.
"We can't yet tell the range of information that this database will be able to give us in the future," added Ciaran Lynch from the Limerick Institute of Technology in Ireland. North Tipperary not only has the country's first eco-village but many existing buildings have also seen an energy revamp with modern heating systems, such as highefficiency gas burners, as well as solar thermal and biomass heating being installed. Monitoring the various projects has played a major role in the project.
The CONCERTO initiative
The EU CONCERTO initiative has 58 municipalities and communities working together towards a common goal – the goal of turning Europe's energy revolution into reality. Energy-efficient new buildings have been built, existing buildings have been renovated, and entire neighbourhoods have been rebuilt to use less energy and draw on local renewable sources to satisfy their remaining demand. The projects are geared to local conditions in a varied mix of building efficiency and renewable energy activities. The CONCERTO initiative is funded by the European Union through the European Research Framework Programme.