Webinar: LEDS EEP Webinar Programme on Tools and Methodologies for Municipal and Regional Sustainable Energy Planning



From September to November 2017, the LEDS-EEP organised and presented its first webinar programme on “Tools and Methodologies for Municipal and Regional Sustainable Energy Planning.”

While energy and climate policies are often set at the national level, a significant share of implementation actions are being taken at the regional and municipal level. Overall success depends on the capacity of local authorities to properly plan and select cost-efficient and effective measures and to develop municipal energy sector development plans, while also taking into account any national and international climate policy objectives and the need to minimise the costs of low carbon transition. The main purpose of this webinar series is to improve the capacity of municipalities and regions to use relevant energy planning tools for sustainable energy planning, thus enabling them to make a smooth transition towards a low carbon economy.

The ten webinars of this programme, showcased in our Trainings and webinars section, cover a wide range of approaches and tools for sustainable energy planning in urban areas. These webinars followed the Workshop on Tools and Methodologies for Municipal Sustainable Energy Planning, held in in Kyiv, Ukraine on July 10-11, 2017, an event that attracted more than 70 participants from Albania, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and other countries.

More specifically, the ten webinars:

  • provide an overview of state-of-the-art approaches to municipal and regional-level energy sector planning;
  • present selected tools that can be used by practitioners working on the development of municipal and regional energy plans;
  • discuss methods and challenges related to data availability and collection; and
  • present examples of using simple and advanced tools for energy planning in several European countries (e.g. Georgia, Greece, Italy, Portugal and the UK) and the United States.

The recorded webinars of the programme are:

Introduction to Energy Planning in Cities and Key Tools

The first webinar was presented by Neven Duic, President of the Management Board of the Centre for Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems (SDEWES Centre) of Croatia.

Energy planning allows for municipalities to conceive long investment cycles, dealing with the integration of power, heating, cooling, transportation and water sectors. By following this approach, cities become able to solve technical issues which are particular for every community, as well as accounting for Sustainable Energy Action Plans, strategies, budgets and more.

Neven introduced the concept of sustainable energy planning for cities and present an overview of the available key tools which can allow for long term accounting, penetration of new technologies and the phasing out of the old; tools on technical simulation; and tools for distributed planning.

Overview of EU Experience in Regional Energy Planning

The second webinar was presented by Pavel Manchev, Director of the Bulgaria-based EnEffect Group.

Regional Energy Planning (REP) is critical to achieving a reduction of the share of energy expenditure in the budgets of municipalities and regions, while allowing coverage of energy needs and minimising energy costs in a cost-effective and environment-friendly manner.

Pavel presented an overview of the importance of REP, general practices, examples and key findings across the EU on the REP’s preparation, development and implementation stages.

Presentation of the LEDS GP Energy Toolkit 2.0: Leading instruments and methodologies for sustainable energy planning

The third webinar was presented by Alexander Ochs, Managing Director of SD Strategies and Chair of the LEDS-GP Energy Working Group.

The LEDS GP Energy Toolkit 2.0 is a collection of leading instruments and methodologies for low emission, climate resilient development planning in the energy sector. It serves energy practitioners, policymakers, and experts as a quick reference guide for well-established low emissions development strategies planning tools that are available at zero or low cost. It includes 26 tools from agencies around the world.

Alexander presented planning tools that can be used for city-level energy sector planning and will explain their advantages and limitations.

Long-Range Energy Alternatives Planning System (LEAP) for Municipal Energy Sector Planning

The fourth webinar was presented by Charles Heaps, Senior Scientist at SEI-US and the developer of LEAP.

LEAP is an integrated, scenario-based modelling tool for energy policy analysis and climate change mitigation assessment. It can be used to track energy consumption, production and resource extraction in all sectors of an economy, as well as to account for both energy sector and non-energy sector greenhouse gas (GHG) emission sources and sinks.

Charles presented how the municipal energy sector planning can benefit from the range of possibilities LEAP can bring, being a flexible and easy-to-use tool for diverse levels of user-expertise and from which models of different energy systems can be created.

In addition to tracking GHGs, LEAP can also be used to analyse emissions of local and regional air pollutants, and short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) making it well-suited to studies of the climate co-benefits of local air pollution reduction.

The Use of LEAP and the Simple Muni-EIPMP Tool for SEAP Development and Monitoring in Georgian Municipalities

The fifth webinar was presented by Anna Sikharulidze, Technical manager of the EC-LEDS project at the Sustainable Development Centre Remissia.

Advanced tools provide better quality data for municipal energy planning; however, they require significant efforts for data collection, processing and model operation. Simpler tools are cheaper to use and require less financial and human resources, but they generate less robust data, especially for more complex energy systems.

Thus, Anna presents the Georgian approach in using tools and methodologies for municipal energy planning in Georgia. For smaller municipalities, the Municipal GHG Emission Inventory, Projection and Mitigation Planning Tool (muni – EIPMP) was used, while the Tbilisi Energy Plan was developed by using the Long-Range Energy Alternatives Planning System (LEAP). Anna elaborates on the details of using these two tools for municipal energy planning and will present advantages and limitations of these two approaches.

An Integrated Planning Framework for the Development of Sustainable and Resilient Cities (InSMART)

The sixth webinar was presented by Rocco De Miglio and Alessandro Chiodi, energy system modellers and analysts at E4SMA.

The InSMART project — financed by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration — used an integrated approach and sophisticated tools for developing municipal energy plans in 4 cities of the EU: Nottingham in the UK, Cesena in Italy, Évora in Portugal and Trikala in Greece.

Rocco and Alessandro introduced their novel step by step approach for developing city plans, starting from (1) involving relevant stakeholders and analysing future building and transportation needs, to (2) using GIS tools and Times model for scenario analysis, and finally (3) discussing the project results with local politicians.

Moreover, Rocco and Alessandro highlighted advantages of their bottom-up approach driven by urban specific needs and integrated with the urban planning vis-à-vis top-down methodologies utilized by other initiatives.

Data Collection Methods of Cities’ Energy Systems and Networks: Insights from the InSmart project

The seventh webinar was presented by Luís Pereira Dias, researcher at the Center for Environmental and Sustainability Research from NOVA University of Lisbon.

Availability of good quality data is fundamental for obtaining robust modelling results and developing realistic and implementable energy plans. Thus, Luís presented methods and tools for data-driven integrated energy planning.

The InSmart project used several methods and tools for collecting data on buildings, transport sector, development of urban spaces, water and sewage system, municipal solid waste management and other sectors. The project implementers performed a thorough analysis of renewable energy potentials in the target cities using the GIS tools.

Luís discussed key data sources for municipal energy planning, data collection methods and challenges, data quality issues, and shared main lessons of the InSmart project.

Exploring Integrated Energy Action Plans for a Sustainable Transition in the InSmart Project: Case studies from Cesena (Italy), Nottingham (UK), and Évora (Portugal)

The eighth webinar was presented by Alessandro Chiodi, Rocco De Miglio and Luís Pereira Dias, who showcased in detail three cases of municipal energy planning using the InSmart project methodology based on: multicriteria and multidisciplinary approach to planning, active participation of local stakeholders, and integration of urban planning into energy sector plans. As a result, the developed energy plans will not only lead to significant avoidance of greenhouse gas emissions and the sustainability of energy systems, but also to the improvement of the daily life of citizens in these cities.

Cities-LEAP Approach: Helping cities with energy analysis and planning

The ninth webinar was presented by Megan Day, Project Leader with the Strategy, Policy, and Implementation Group of the NREL.

With support from the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has developed original, replicable methodologies to estimate sector-specific energy data for every U.S. city. The resulting City Energy Profiles are made public on the State and Local Energy Data site.

Currently, NREL is working with ten cities to demonstrate pathways from data to decision making — using the data generated through Cities-LEAP and available on the State and Local Energy Data site to help cities make more strategic energy decisions.

Megan presented the approaches taken for data collection and the types of analysis to inform on municipal energy planning using the Cities-LEAP Toolbox with the experience of the United States. She also presented the case of a city and the use of the toolbox to better inform the policy-making process.

The PLANHEAT Tool

The tenth and final webinar was presented by Stefano Barberis, PLANHEAT Project Coordinator.

This webinar introduced the participants to the PLANHEAT project, which is developing and validating an integrated and easy-to-use tool to support local authorities in selecting, simulating and comparing alternative low carbon and economically sustainable scenarios for heating and cooling.

The PLANHEAT integrated tool will be designed to support local authorities in:

  • mapping the potential of locally available low-carbon energy sources
  • mapping the forecasted demand for heating and cooling
  • defining and simulating alternative environmentally friendly scenarios
  • understanding the interactions of these new scenarios with the existing infrastructures and networks
  • identifying potential for further extension and upgrade of district heating and cooling networks
  • evaluating the benefits in terms of energetic, economic and environmental gains.

To do so, PLANHEAT intends to actively involve 50 EU cities in the project, screening in depth the needs of energy practitioners in order to deliver a tool which is customised on cities’ needs. Therefore, the development of the tool will include:

  • In-depth involvement of all PLANHEAT cities: shaping and improvement of the tool
  • Dedicated trainings and workshops
  • Webinars throughout the whole project
  • Events at local and EU-level
  • Guidelines and How-To-Tutorials
  • Sharing expertise and experiences