TRANSFORM (English version)

Almost all European cities have ambitions to reduce CO2 pollution and increase the production of renewable energy. This process is called the energy transition. Unfortunately, in most cities goals are not reached and transition is not?under way? Why not?
TRANSFORM is a collaboration of six European cities: Vienna, Hamburg, Genoa, Lyon, Copenhagen and Amsterdam. Together these cities look for opportunities to make energy transition work, and to make emery transition a business. In TRANSFORM therefore various companies collaborate, including Siemens, Nuon, Royal Haskoning, Ecofys, BAM, IKEA, Stadgenoot, Pronam, Breevast, ENEL and Austrian Institute of Technology. Together with these companies the cities search for opportunities.
In the recently held international TRANSFORM ?LAB session?, I was chairman of the Team that discussed the possible solutions with ESCO?s (Energy Service Company?s). And the question was if an ESCO could be a solution in reaching goals at the level of neighbourhoods in cities. We discussed the question in relation to Amstel III in Amsterdam and we talked about the opportunities for homes, commercial buildings and offices.
After two days of talks, interviews, discussions, brainstorming and making proposals I will sketch you an outline of the results. The diagram below shows what an ESCO could be. Recognizable, you might say. But how is this to become a business, a contract?
The interviews with stakeholders revealed some interesting frameworks. The starting point for any business should be a positive financial result, energy savings and CO2 reduction. Automatically this will uplift the image of the inhabitants, the city, the ESCO and the owner. It is also crucial that the business is large enough to be profitable. An ESCO on the scale of a city district is viable, on the scale of a single building not.
We also understood that building owners can only do business with reliable partners that can guarantee continuity of energy supply. It is logical because they can?t leave their tenants in the dark, or in the cold.
The energy transition is a problem that must be addressed at the level of the city district, and therefore the municipal can be held responsible. Municipalities can not only set goals and hope business will thrive. They have to set a platform for business to grow.
The proposal of our team is therefore that municipalities offer such a platform at the level of districts where inhabitants and owners can meet ESCO’s. The municipality should take the initiative to bring stakeholders together. In the start-up phase perhaps with legal support, expertise and management so ESCO business can grow and trust will follow.
So, to all municipalities we would say: set not only ambitions, but also act, for instance by setting up platforms. You can start tomorrow!

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