Plus Energy Melk - Path for the realization of Plus-Energy-Districs in Melk

The city of Melk has set itself the goal of playing a pioneering role in renewable energy supply and climate protection. In this context, an initiative aimed at implementing Positive Energy Districts. Two urban development projects are currently underway to examine under which framework conditions, technical and organisational solutions Positive Energy Districts can be realised. A proactive participation process aims at informing developers and investors as well as other stakeholders about the realization of PlusEnergy concepts.

Short Description



Initial situation

Positive Energy Districts (PEDs) are areas that produce more energy than they consume over a specified balancing period for a defined system boundary. The advantages and benefits of PEDs have already been widely demonstrated in research and are visible in individual demonstration projects, often in larger cities. In smaller cities, this concept is not yet widespread.


The city of Melk has set itself the goal of assuming a pioneering role in the field of renewable energy supply and climate protection. In this context, an initiative aims to implement PEDs. In currently two urban development projects, this project examined under which framework conditions, and through which technical and organisational solutions PEDs can be realised. Since the city does not implement any buildings of its own in these areas, one goal was and still is to convince developers and investors of this concept.

The aim of the exploratory study was to examine two concrete, and very different, urban development areas in the city of Melk: a small inner-city area, with predominantly commercial use, on the edge of the historic old town (approx. 12,000 m² NF); and a larger area in the "green field", with predominantly residential use (approx. 350,000 m² NF).


At the beginning of the project, the definition of PED was discussed. Especially the contrasting approaches of both areas can make an important contribution to the concretization of the definition. Based on national and international experiences and literature sources, a concrete approach was developed for this project.

A catalogue of requirements for PEDs was developed on the basis of the needs and goals of building owners, the city of Melk and citizens. The technical examination of the individual areas was carried out by means of energy space analyses, determination of energy demand and potentials of renewable energy sources as well as a positive-energy balance. Possible approaches to business models such as energy communities were analysed and concretized for the city of Melk.

Through the active participation of the city of Melk and the property owners and developers involved, acceptance was ensured as preparation for the implementation of PEDs.

Results and Findings

An essential result of the project is the information and sensitization of the city of Melk as well as the investors and developers for the topic of PEDs. Only by involving these stakeholders in a timely and comprehensive manner in a process for the development of PEDs is the likelihood of success high.

In the technical analysis and energy balancing, both areas were examined with regard to the realization of positive-energy requirements. The requirements for the "Boulevard Melk" in the city center are relatively high. In addition to the surfaces of the building envelope, additional surfaces in the area would have to be used for the installation of PV modules in order to cover the electricity consumption. The reason for this is the energy-intensive businesses (e.g. restaurant, trade, etc.) that are to be accommodated on Boulevard Melk. In the case of Quartier "Melk Süd", a plus-energy balance is achieved when an excellent building standard and a high share of renewable energy are taken into account.

The definition of PEDs is still critical in these reviews. Here, with different definition approaches, the energy use for mobility is sometimes taken into account and sometimes not. The definition of the system boundary is decisive. If the energy demand for mobility is not taken into account in the Plus-Energy balance, a positive balance can be achieved even with lower requirements for building standards and renewables. From the project team's point of view, however, it is expedient to also consider the energy demand for mobility.


The next steps towards the implementation of the PEDs were defined in a roadmap, adapted to the situation of the city of Melk, and discussed with the city. The city's goal is to implement the PEDs on the basis of the results of this exploratory study.

The exploratory project focused on the overall assessment of the areas; the concrete development of an energy concept for the heat supply was not part of the project. In the Melk South area, there is interest in developing concrete solutions for a local heat supply, including waste heat sources in the surrounding area.

In addition, the city of Melk strives to put the perspective also on the entire city and to develop a climate neutrality path and an action guide for the city.

Project Partners

Project management

e7 energy innovation & engineering

Project or cooperation partners

  • City of Melk
  • NÖ Energie- und Umweltagentur Betriebs-GmbH (eNu)

Contact Address

Gerhard Hofer
Walcherstraße 11/43
A-1020 Wien
Tel.: +43 (1) 907 80 26