INFINITE: INnovative FINancing models for sustaInable urban energy sysTEms
Ongoing urbanisation requires the development of numerous new urban development areas. At the same time more and more cities commit to policy strategies for sustainability and the development towards "smart cities". One key aspect of a sustainable urban area is a renewable energy supply. Within the frame of the INFINITE-project the characteristics of sustainable urban energy supplies are the application of local supply units, the use of local renewable energy sources and the distribution across buildings. The complexity of such projects and a lack of existing financing models make the realisation of large-scale sustainable urban energy supplies difficult. Without adequate stakeholder processes sustainable energy supply systems, linking several buildings, are not likely to be implemented. Instead, solutions for individual buildings using grid-bound, mostly fossil energy carriers continue to be applied.
Contents and Objectives
The goal of the INFINITE-project is to lay the foundations for a more wide-spread implementation of urban energy supply systems across buildings using renewable energy sources produced in local supply units. At the same time the projects supports to reduce the demand for fossil fuels and higher-level energy infrastructure.
The key aspect here is how to deal with the higher initial investment costs resulting from local renewable energy resources and which financing models can be used to make this possible.
The adequate methods will be applied depending on the specific task:
- Research and analysis of European good-practice examples as well as relevant process elements
- Field trip and workshop with stakeholders of a good-practice urban development area in Europe
- Topic-specific interviews with various stakeholders regarding possible financing models (e.g. property developers) and governance processes (e.g. city administration)
- Review of financing models on the basis of an Austrian urban development area
- Economic methods of investment calculation and apportionment of costs for tenants
- Support in the revision of governance processes in a city
- Workshops with stakeholders and advisory board meetings
The results of the project are calculations of heat tariffs and total cost burdens on the basis of a realistic Viennese urban development area for tenants for various financing models. Increased involvement of property developers in the financing of the high initial investment costs is seen as a possible solution for financing, since - especially non-profit property developers - have significantly better financing conditions than energy service companies. At the same time, a high proportion of the initial investment costs must be included in the rent, which is tax-privileged. The coordination of the various actors and interests in this respect requires an accompanying stakeholder process.
In addition to the calculation results, proposals and recommendations for the revision of governance processes at city and state level have been developed. In the area of housing subsidies, the opportunities and limits of four federal states were analysed. For the City of Vienna, proposals for the amendment of the building regulations and the subsidy scheme of new buildings were developed with support of the INFINITE project team.
The aim is "heat transition" in urban areas so that large buildings in larger settlements can realise heat concepts based on (locally available) renewable energy sources. To this end, legal framework conditions such as the implementation of energy spatial planning and incentive systems such as housing subsidies must be adapted to the changed heating supply concepts. In particular for the higher initial investment costs, solutions must be offered through financial support from the local authorities and through suitable financing and business models as well as improvements in the legislation.
e7 Energie Markt Analyse GmbH
Project or cooperation partners
- Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, Forschungsinstitut für Urban Management and Governance
- Energetic Solutions
- TINA Vienna GmbH (Energy Center Wien)
- gbv - Österreichischer Verband gemeinnütziger Bauvereinigungen