Municipal utilities are important partners for public authorities
By Eva Hennig, Head of Department for EU Energy Policy, Thüga Aktiengesellschaft
Cities are in the centre of attention when it comes to the challenging task of the decarbonisation. To develop far-reaching concepts, the interests of citizens, the commercial and industrial sector, as well as the financial and geographical situation of the city should be taken into account. The availability of renewable energy sources like wind, sun, water or biomass is often restricted due to the geographical situation and available space.
In this context, public authorities have the opportunity to lead by example, regarding the energy efficiency of the public buildings or the fuelling of their own fleet of vehicles and the public transport. They have the possibility to set incentives for citizens and companies to invest in low carbon technologies and infrastructures. Strategic plans for the building stock, innovative approaches for new individual private or commercial buildings can further support the deployment. Especially, the cooperation with the industrial companies can lead to new ideas that fit best to the local environment. Large and financially stable industrial sites for example, could be able to provide waste heat to district heating systems.
Municipal utilities are important partners for public authorities. Their existing grid infrastructures for electricity, gas, district heating and cooling, in combination with local energy production sites represent the backbone of the local energy transition. Intelligent concepts and pilot projects for the sectorial integration – developed between the municipality, the local utility company, the industrial and commercial consumers and the citizens – have the potential to find a cost-efficient and citizen-friendly decarbonisation path. The chance of success increases considerably if the people and entrepreneurs living in a city embrace the idea of decarbonisation as their own.
The experience in many projects in the Thüga group show that detailed information and the offer of a wide range of choices between different options, fitting the individual situation and personal wishes, lay the ground for the successful implementation of decarbonisation projects.
#DecarbCities is a conference organised by the European Heat Pump Association (EHPA)
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