TAP Time: Europe (1)

“TAP Time” sessions at the Cities & Regions Pavilion showcase the most promising projects from the Transformative Actions Program (TAP).

Today’s European “TAP Time” session, entitled “Leading the Way Towards a Low-Carbon Europe,” featured presentations from Katarina Luhr, Stockholm Vice Mayor of Environment and Gustaf Landahl, GrowSmarter coordinator; Barra Mac Ruairi, Strategic Director – Place, Bristol City Council; and Angel Andreu, Director of EcoEnergies Barcelona Sud.

Stockholm is part of the GrowSmarter network – an EU project bringing together cities and industry to demonstrate and integrate the uptake of 12 smart solutions in the three Lighthouse Cities of Stockholm, Cologne and Barcelona. Katarina Luhr explained that the GrowSmarter project encourages “using cities as test beds, so that solutions can spread to many cities around the world.” Gustav Landahl pointed out that cities around the world face the same challenges: housing, infrastructure and mobility. Stockholm’s solutions focused on these three areas. For instance, projects focused on using surplus heat for energy, collecting organic waste for the production of biogas, and better traffic management.

In 2009, Bristol set ambitious targets to reduce the city’s energy use by 30 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels and to reduce the city’s carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. These are higher than both the UK and EU Targets. A key strand of the strategy to reach this target is domestic energy efficiency, which accounts for 40 percent of emissions. Bristol is therefore attempting to refurbish 56,000 homes – the biggest refurbishment initiative in the UK. Barra Mac Ruairi explained that Bristol was leading and demonstrating, but needed significant financial support to do so. Bristol is therefore aiming to raise £1 billion for its project.

Port of Barcelona has one of the largest regasification terminals in southern Europe, with a capacity of 625,000m3 per hour. As this resource has not been sufficiently utilized, Barcelona has developed the EcoEnergies project in partnership with the private enterprise VEOLIA. The main objective is the recovery and redistribution of the residual energy from the processing of the liquefied natural gas. Currently the project provides heating and cooling to various small customers. By 2017, EcoEnergies aims to provide cooling for Barcelona’s central market (MERCABARNA), bringing the capacity of the project to over 50 megawatts. Angel Andreu commented that Barcelona was following the ideal of “think global, act local”, and was serving as a pioneer for other cities around the world.

The session demonstrated that cities in Europe are implementing solutions with a view to replication. Mitigation projects that can be replicated are being tested for the benefit of the individual cities but with the aim of generating benefits for cities.