ECC – EnergyCityConcepts – Development of a methodology and concept for the implementation of sustainable energy systems in cities by the example of Gleisdorf and Salzburg

In the context of this project two concrete model regions (small city Gleisdorf and urban city quarter Salzburg-Schallmoos) will be developed and tested with new methodical approaches (interdisciplinary urban and regional energy planning, modeling and simulation). An ambitious political commitment of both model regions is a 100% renewable or rather CO2-neutral energy supply.

Short Description

Our energy systems are developing rapidly, as our cities do. Also, climate protection must be vigorously promoted. In order to shape the necessary energy supply of tomorrow in our cities and regions, all players in spatial energy planning must take a holistic view of energy systems across all sectors and tackle the technical and organisational challenges together. It is essential for a resource-conserving and fail-safe energy supply that it also has an adequate place in the spatial development of conurbations. The research project EnergyCityConcepts has dealt with this complex of issues in recent years and has shown how new, adapted planning tools and organisational structures can help in this respect. The project partners AEE INTEC, Institute of Thermal Engineering of Graz University of Technology, SIR - Salzburg Institute of Spatial Planning and Housing, Research Studio iSPACE / RSA FG, Stadtwerke Gleisdorf and Salzburg AG have made important contributions to the introduction and further development of spatial energy planning in the cities of Gleisdorf and Salzburg.

Why energy in urban planning?

With the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement, the objectives from an energy perspective have been set at international level. It is now necessary to consider what measures can be taken to implement these objectives at the municipal and city level by 2050. At the same time, local planning bodies (urban planning authorities, spatial planners, energy suppliers, etc.) are confronted with challenges posed by climate change and increasing urbanisation. Therefore, a coordinated approach in the field of urban and energy planning is necessary. An important and innovative instrument for this is spatial energy planning. In the project EnergyCityConcepts, spatial energy planning was implemented as a pilot in the municipality of Gleisdorf and in the district of Salzburg Schallmoos. For this, the combination of scientific expertise with practical knowledge from the municipality and the city was necessary to advance the transdisciplinary process for the further development of spatial energy planning.

Combining scientific methods

There is a wide range of tools and methods with different levels of detail and areas of application for dealing with energy technology issues. For spatial energy planning, the combination of geoinformation systems, spatial modelling and selected simulation methods brings multiple advantages.

With the help of GI-systems , large spatial data sets on local energy requirements, energy potentials and infrastructures were collected in the project and a detailed geodatabase was created. From this, in combination with spatial planning information, analysis maps were subsequently derived, which graphically and spatially resolve the relevant statements on energy demand and building status.

For more detailed planning, both for the status quo and for future scenarios, the spatial models were coupled with physical models. At the level of buildings and areas, a dynamic building and system simulation was used for coupling. In addition, a methodology was developed to estimate future consumption on the basis of measured energy consumption by simulation. In order to investigate developments in the heat demand of residential buildings for different scenarios, models from the TABULA project and the European standards EN ISO 13790 for the calculation of the heating demand and ÖNORM EN 15316 for the calculation of the heating energy demand were linked to the developed geodata base. Another approach was to use an agent-based simulation model to investigate the influence of socio-demographic factors (educational level, age, income, etc.) on the development of the heat supply system.

Results are the basis for further urban planning

The results from spatial modelling and simulation are not only available in pure numerical or diagram form, but also in the form of digital maps that can be clearly and intuitively understood.

These results show for Salzburg Schallmoos and Gleisdorf among others

  • the state of renovation of the buildings
  • the distribution and type of heating systems
  • the type of energy sources used
  • the heating demand and CO2 emissions in the area under consideration
  • suitability and priority areas for district heating supply
  • potentials for the expansion and integration of biomass, heat pumps, solar thermal and PV systems, waste heat utilisation

A further result of the EnergyCityConcepts project is the initiated process for spatial energy planning in the participating municipalities. Through the participation of the most important stakeholders such as the mayor, the city building authority, spatial planners and spatial planning committee, energy suppliers, etc., committed people could be won over to the topic and further projects in various areas could be initiated. In the area concept for energy (Sachbereichskonzept Energie - SKE) in Gleisdorf, for example, heat supply zones and expansion possibilities for the district heating network in the city of Gleisdorf were defined, which were also included as district heating priority areas in local spatial planning.

In Salzburg Schallmoos, implementation schedules were drawn up for the entire district, for one neighbourhood and for individual construction projects. The knowledge gained from this process, together with other projects in Salzburg, provides input for the heating strategy of the city and state of Salzburg and the participating energy supplier, Salzburg AG. In this work, as in SKE, the methodology developed in the project was applied to designate district heating areas via graded suitability zones based on determined heat density maps. As a further project result of EnergyCityConcepts web service prototypes for web-based analysis and planning tools for the display and evaluation of heat density maps for both cities were developed. The follow-up project Spatial Energy Planning deals with the further development of these elaborated basics.

Where is it going?

From the results of spatial energy planning, important insights for long-term urban planning can be derived, which in turn are important for investors and energy suppliers. In the future, these can determine the spatial suitability of an energy supply option. On the other hand, the project has also shown that structures and resources should be created in the urban planning departments to deal with this topic. This would enable the topic of spatial energy planning to be heard more and more by the responsible decision-makers, so that a nationwide roll-out would also be politically supported.

The partners of the EnergyCityConcepts project are still active in the further development of spatial energy planning. Both in the context of ongoing research projects and in the direct implementation in local planning and integration of new and further development of existing tools, methods and workflows. Both project tracks offer a very good opportunity for the actors in the municipalities, cities and states to actively continue the topic of spatial energy planning and to push the implementation.

Project Partners

Project management

AEE – Institute for Sustainable Technologies (AEE INTEC)

Project or cooperation partners

  • Institut für Wärmetechnik, Technische Universität Graz (IWT)
  • SIR – Salzburger Institut für Raumordnung und Wohnen (SIR)
  • Studio iSPACE / RSA FG (iSpace)
  • Stadtwerke Gleisdorf (StG)
  • Salzburg AG (SAG)

Contact Address

Dr. Ingo Leusbrock
AEE - Institut für Nachhaltige Technologien
A-8200 Gleisdorf, Feldgasse 19
Tel.: +43 (0)3112 5886-261, Fax: DW 18
Mobil: +43 (0)664 1012851