Business Vulnerability Workshop against Climate Change

Business Vulnerability Workshop against Climate Change

ERCIM News 136

On February 21, the first session of the Business Vulnerability Workshop against #climatechange was held in Barcelona. The session was organized by the partners IREC in conjunction with the Barcelona City Council (Agenda 2030) within the framework of the LOCALISED project.

On the first day, attendees participated in an exercise to analyze business vulnerability, the risks of sustainable transition, and the adaptation capacity of each company.

Various leading companies from the transportation, building, and industry sectors actively participated in the event, including Mireia Cammany from EPI Industries, Judit Martínez from Transports Generals d’Olesa (TGO), José Luis Pérez from ABIAN Services, and Isidre Lorenzo from TERSA.

ERCIM News 136
Getting out of gas in Vienna: free consultations on heating alternatives for citizens!

Getting out of gas in Vienna: free consultations on heating alternatives for citizens!

ERCIM News 136

Photo: © Arch. Zeininger und Lisi Zeininger. The Smart Block Geblergasse pilot project in Vienna, before and after the restoration of the inner courtyard under which geothermal probes for heat pumps are located.

More than one in four households in Austria still heats with fossil gas – a form of heating with an expiration date. Indeed, in line with the commitments made in the Paris Climate Agreement, Austria must ensure that heating systems with oil and natural gas are replaced by climate-friendly alternatives by 2050. For this transition to be just and feasible, a powerful combination of technical, social and economic efforts is required. Our Vienna-based LOCALISED partner ÖGUT is participating in these efforts by collaborating with the City of Vienna on the “Raus aus Gas”: a policy program consisting on subsidies, information campaigns and specific bans aimed at phasing out fossil fuel heating and replacing gas with district heating and heat pumps. 

Between 2014 and 2018, the building sector accounted for almost 30 percent of the relevant greenhouse gas emissions in the city of Vienna. Especially for heating, cooling and water heating. Nearly 90 percent of CO2emissions in this sector come from gas heating systems, the vast majority of which are accounted for by around half a million gas boilers in homes or workplaces. This situation leaves homeowners with a considerable number of challenges: what are the options available to “get out of gas”? How difficult would it be to implement them? And, importantly, who bears the costs? 

From February 2024, ÖGUT carries out free renovation consultations on behalf of HAUSKUNFT, a service point of the City of Vienna, for interested house and apartment owners who want to make their buildings fit to climate-friendly standards and regulations. ÖGUT’s experts have been working on projects to promote fossil-free and environmentally friendly heating in the city for years, by sharing their expertise through consultations, concrete planning, and placements. Thanks to the agreement with HAUSKUNFT, the experts of ÖGUT are now available to homeowners for free, tailor-made and independent consultations, especially at the beginning of their renovation journey. Advice can be provided by phone, virtually, or in person on-site, depending on citizens’ needs and preferences.

The focus on local efforts and best practices to “get out of gas” is especially relevant for the LOCALISED project, as one of the project activities currently underway is to establish the local adaptation of the renovation wave’s policies and other mitigation initiatives and define mid to long term scenarios at local level.  Focus is given on the contribution of building retrofitting programs and energy efficiency policies to regional mitigation pathways.

For more information on climate-friendly heating options in Austria, check out ÖGUT’s blogpost series, in German language:

CLEAN ENERGY PORT: A Key Element of the Gdansk City Infrastructure

CLEAN ENERGY PORT: A Key Element of the Gdansk City Infrastructure

ERCIM News 136

Photo: Installation of components of the exhaust gas treatment system onto the support structure.

Image source: https://portczystejenergii.prowly.com/presskits/aktualizowane-zdjecia-z-budowy/7/page

The thermal processing plant for municipal trash in Gdansk – our local partner – is the final hub of the municipal trash management system with a metropolitan impact, as it will receive waste from three municipal facilities covering about 40 communities. The thermal processing of solid and thermal trash contributes to the generation of electricity and heat, reducing the consumption of fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions, and, thanks to BAT (Best Available Techniques), minimizes the negative impact on the environment and reduces emissions of harmful substances and maximizes the potential of non-recyclable waste. The plant is expected to be commissioned at the end of the first quarter of 2024.

The parameters of the Clean Energy Port are impressive. The nominal capacity of the boiler is 62.7 MW, and the installed electric and thermal capacities are 16 MWe and 44 MWt, respectively. The facility will produce 109 GWh of electricity annually, which is a significant contribution to local demand. Working in cogeneration, annual heat production will be 509 TJ which will meet the needs of 30,000 households during the heating season. The combustion temperature will oscillate between 850-1050°C, and the daily throughput will be 495 tons. These figures confirm the plant’s importance for the sustainable development of the city and the region.

Investment is also, or even primarily, being made in the education of the public. These activities are aimed at preventing waste, minimizing waste and preparing waste for reuse, which is a key element of a responsible approach to waste management and will contribute to reducing society’s negative impact on the environment.

ERCIM News 136

Photo: Port of Clean Energy in Gdansk.

Image source: https://portczystejenergii.prowly.com/presskits/aktualizowane-zdjecia-z-budowy

ERCIM News 136

Photo: Port of Clean Energy in Gdansk.

Image source: https://portczystejenergii.prowly.com/presskits/aktualizowane-zdjecia-z-budowy

Tailoring Decarbonisation and Resilience Strategies to Drive Regional and Local Action: Read the latest news in ERCIM News!

Tailoring Decarbonisation and Resilience Strategies to Drive Regional and Local Action: Read the latest news in ERCIM News!

ERCIM News 136

In the research and Innovation section of the January issue of ERCIM News, the LOCALISED project is spotlighted for Tailoring Decarbonisation and Resilience Strategies to Drive Regional and Local Action. 

As highlighted in ERCIM News 136, existing European information platforms supporting a shift to a net-zero energy system have so far been limited in providing information for promoting this transition only targeting the national level. Therefore, LOCALISED is designed to close the information gap between national-level decarbonisation plans and local needs for planning and implementing an energy transition towards net-zero while accounting for remaining adaptation.

Transitioning to a green economy requires a shift in investment and education

Transitioning to a green economy requires a shift in investment and education

Transitioning to a green economy requires a shift in investment and education

A commonly held perspective, endorsed by scientists, policymakers, and the public at large, asserts that tackling the climate crisis and promoting sustainable development must be interconnected. To facilitate a shift toward a green global economy while still enabling ongoing economic growth, substantial changes in the structure of global production and consumption are necessary. Nevertheless, the specifics of resource reallocation—how and where it should occur—remain contingent upon the assumptions made regarding the pace of the green transition.

A recent paper—by our LOCALISED partner CMCC—explores three transition scenarios, each characterised by the pace of the shift from a fossil-fuel-based economy (brown) to a renewable energy-dominated one (green). These scenarios include a constant (linear) transition, a rapid transition, and a delayed transition. The paper analyses the demands of each pathway in terms of reallocating capital and labour, as well as investing in capital stocks and research and development (R&D). Through this analysis, one can identify key factors influencing various transition paths and inform overall policy priorities.

This paper builds on a widely used integrated assessment model of climate change and economy and introduces several important changes and additions that enable the representation of the green transition in a simplified but relevant manner. Specifically, our model, shown in the figure above, has two productive sectors, one “green” and one “brown”. Capital and labour can be moved between these two sectors at a certain cost. Moreover, long-term productivity growth depends on R&D investments which must be allocated between the two sectors.

Comparing different transition pathways, the first implication of the speed of the transition is for the trajectory of CO2 emissions where fast transition entails deeper and earlier reduction of the emissions while the other pathways reduce emissions more gradually. Across scenarios, transitions are achieved through different combinations of factor transfers from the “brown” to the “green” sector and investments in green capital stocks and R&D. In particular, the fast transition pathway relies very heavily on transfers of capital from the “brown” to the “green” sector with labour reallocation being comparatively more limited and homogeneous across scenarios. The fast pathway also requires substantial emission abatement efforts in the “brown” sector, which results in a sharp decline in emissions. The slower pathways, meanwhile, feature a larger amount of investment and capital accumulation generated within the “green” sector itself, hence avoiding a part of the cost associated with reallocating capital across sectors.