EM Städte - Monitoring and evaluation of urban energy flows
In order to achieve the international, European and national climate targets, numerous measures are required to increase energy efficiency and the share of renewable energies. The implementation of these measures has to take place to a large extent at the regional level in cities and regions and requires in-depth knowledge of the energy system (supply, distribution and consumption). The assessment and analysis of regional energy and resource flows is an essential basis for planning.
In Austria, the energy balances compiled and published by Statistics Austria provide the data basis for analysing energy and resource flows, both at the national and at the provincial level. However, energy balances contain data uncertainties due to the complexity of the compilation. Especially for the calculation of energy balances for cities or regions, it is necessary to identify the quality of existing data as well as missing data down to the city level, since many public data are not available in the necessary regional granularity.
As the first task of the project, the database of Statistics Austria for the calculation of national energy balances will be subjected to a critical review. Based on the results of the review, a methodology for breaking down energy flows to the regional level will be developed, which will afterwards be applied in an Excel tool. The Excel tool is intended to offer municipalities the possibility to create energy balances autonomously in line with the national energy balance in order to analyse and visualise energy flows and to be able to compare them with other municipal energy balances.
The project started with an analysis of the documentation of the energy statistics as well as the primary surveys. Based on their strengths and weaknesses, necessary alternative data were researched, identified and analysed. From the generated set of data, a methodology was developed that is useful to various municipalities and, on the other hand, allows additional data inputs to improve energy balances. The methodology draws on existing methods for the calculation of energy efficiency indicators as well as decomposition analyses and correlates energy consumption with consumption-driving indicators such as population and economic activity. The Excel tool focuses on user-friendliness. For this reason, data input and balance sheet output are kept very simple and intermediate calculations to determine the resulting balance sheet are carried out in a separate worksheet. Validation and verification in this analysis were performed by entering the available data from the participating municipalities and discussing the results with the municipalities.
As a result of this project, a set of tools was developed that can be used by municipalities for the analysis, planning, implementation and monitoring of measures to improve energy flows in the municipality. The following tools were developed:
- A general data catalogue that contains a list of required data and their current locations for the creation of regional energy flows
- A method for breaking down energy flows to the regional level
- The Excel-based tool "Senflusk", which can be completed autonomously by municipalities and used at different levels of complexity and accuracy. Primary functions are the creation of an energy balance to visualise the main energy flows in the municipality and the estimation of the effects of measures on future energy flows.
- A list of recommendations to support municipalities in identifying new measures
Due to the lack of data on energy flows for some energy sources, consumption plants and conversion plants, and the excessive effort required to collect regional data, it was decided to implement methodically a mixture of top-down and bottom-up approaches. Depending on which method is used, the approach results in the following advantages and disadvantages for "Senflusk":
Characteristics of the top-down approach:
- Little effort to collect and enter data (+)
- Improved comparability with other municipalities (+)
- Inaccurate representation of the regional situation (-)
- Low suitability for individual planning (-)
Characteristics of the bottom-up approach:
- Improved mapping of the regional situation (+)
- Suitability for individual planning (+)
- Increased effort for collecting and entering data (-)
- Expertise required for data handling (-)
- Consistent methodological approach required to collect data and ensure comparability between regions (-)
A large part of the input data for the regional energy balance comes from publicly available statistics or standardised data sources. However, the improvement of the energy balance requires additional information, some of which must be collected separately. There are currently no standardised specifications for these assessments.
Some data sources are not publicly available, but offer additional possibilities for improving regional energy flows. Further research could clarify which barriers stand in the way of use, how these barriers can be overcome and which standardised data traffic regulations can be created so that the effort for data preparation and data processing of all stakeholders concerned is as low as possible.
Austrian Energy Agency (AEA)
Project or cooperation partners
Ressourcen Management Agentur (RMA)
Christoph Ploiner, MSc
Mariahilfer Straße 136
Tel.: +43 (1) 5861524 - 104