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Study visit of Lower Silesian local and regional policy makers to Bologna, Emilia-Romagna (Italy) » EnercitEE Blog - EnercitEE is a European project aiming at enhancing the understanding of Energy Efficiency among different stakeholders and improving the respective local and regional policies.
On 21-23 October 2013, the capital of Italian Emilia-Romagna region, Bologna, was visited by 17 policy makers representing local and regional authorities in Lower Silesia. Polish participants were presented with a brief description of the region and its current economic and social situation. The first part of the visit was a small biogas plant located in San Giovanni in Persiceto, a town not very far from Bologna.
The participants then visited one of the largest waste incineration plant in Italy, operated by a municipal company HERA.
The next point in the agenda was visiting the urban exhibition centre to see the current energy efficient solutions in the building industry and tour of the energy-efficient student building (a dorm), which, for the most part of the year, covers its demand for electricity and heat with its own resources (installed photovoltaic panels and heat pumps, the specific structure typical of passive houses). Finally, the program of the study visit was met with great interest from Lower Silesian local and regional authority representatives, who often discussed the presented sites and solutions in details.
One of EnercitEE partners, the region of Lower Silesia, organized its final conference in Wroclaw on 20th November.
The conference aimed to promote knowledge, exchange experience and present good practices that affect the efficient use of energy and the sustainable use of natural resources in the building sector. Representatives of Lower Silesian local authorities, subordinate units, universities, associations, firms and companies interested in the topic of energy efficiency in the building sector heard a number of presentations. In addition to the account of EnercitEE achievements, given as a fine example of Lower Silesian activities in the field of improving energy efficiency in the region, a current status of the implementation of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive in Poland was presented, in particular with respect to the requirements for public entities.
GRACE – Analysis of funding programmes for citizens and communities » EnercitEE Blog - EnercitEE is a European project aiming at enhancing the understanding of Energy Efficiency among different stakeholders and improving the respective local and regional policies.
In Germany and especially in Saxony there are many funding programmes which support the energy efficiency of citizens and communities. On a study visit tour during the “Day of renewable energies” in Bautzen on 28th April 2012, which was organised by Bautzen Innovation Centre, the participants had a look at three different passive buildings: The POLYSAX training centre, a single family passive house and the sports shop Intersport Timm in Bautzen. POLYSAX Training Centre is an educational establishment for apprentices in plastics industry and students for industrial engineering. Intersport Timm (shop for sportswear) is the 2nd commercial building in Germany and the 1st commercial building in the Free State of Saxony, which was build as passive house.

The visited single family passive house in Bautzen is still under construction, but the family is already living there. Here some of the articels, a column and an interview (in Dutch) I wrote over the years on energy efficiency.
Rob Kool and Ruud Jonkers, Improving Energy Efficiency in Industry in time: A search for suitable instruments. The visit, which was organised as an activity of the EnercitEE project, was aimed to get to know local good practices and exchange experiences in the field of energy efficiency improvement. Emilia -Romagna is a densely populated (4.4 million people with more than 22 000 km2) and well-developed Italian region, with strong industry (automotive, packaging, ceramics and food) and agriculture.
This pilot installation produces biogas from locally available maize silage which is then upgraded to biomethane.
This modern incinerator meets even the most stringent EU regulations and requirements regarding emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere.
The building also houses cafeteria, a fitness room, a reading room, laundry and other facilities. Participants also had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the role of energy efficiency in the Regional Development Strategy for the Lower Silesia up to 2020 and the priorities of the Regional Operational Programme for 2014-2020, with more than 2 billion euros available for Lower Silesia in the coming years.
Within the EnercitEE sub-project GRACE three funding programmes will be analysed in detail. Although it ranks among the richest regions in the European Union, it is currently facing the global crisis, which is reflected primarily in increased unemployment. Extensive monitoring system continuously monitors all operating parameters and displays them on a dedicated website available for everybody. The aim is to find out the effect of the programmes in that way that we are able to make a statement how many CO2 emissions respectively energy is saved with 1 € out of the funding programme. The sports shop has a sales area of more than 1,000 m? with heating costs of 150 € per year.
For the future it is planned to install solar panels for producing enough energy for the whole house.
Emilia-Romagna, like other Italian regions , has always been active in the field of energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources.

Biogas plants of this kind can heavily rely on subsidies in Italy (such as Feed-in Tariff), which makes the investment profitable.
Completely rebuilt and modernized in 2005, the plant has two independent lines, each of which processes 300 tons of mixed municipal and special waste (including hazardous) per day. During the conference, a municipal energy expert explained the nature of his work, pointing to the large savings that a community can benefit from proper and responsible energy management.
It is enough to say that in the popular European Covenant of Mayors initiative, which brings together local and regional authorities voluntarily committed to taking action to reduce CO2 emissions in their area, there are 128 municipalities from the region (for comparison, there are two municipalities from Lower Silesia, all Polish are 35). Participants also heard a presentation on the advantages and disadvantages of using different types of renewable energy sources in the construction of a modern energy-efficient residential building. 130 million kWh of electricity (serving 50 000 households) and 30 million Mcal of heat (serving 3 000 households) produced annually is then transmitted to the national grid and district heating system. Yearly production of thermal and electrical energy from waste equals to about 37,000 tons of heating oil, which would have to be burned.
The plant serves as a fine example of a technologically advanced cogeneration plant, providing very much needed energy to the local population but also utilising the problem of waste. An amendment of this standard is planned for 2012, which means stricter rules for future homeowners. In the diagram below, there is a comparison between an EnEV house of 2009 and a passive house with 150 m? each.
In addition it is assumed that the rate of energy price increase has a level of 5 % per year. All in all the beneficiary saves more than 20,000 € until year 30 after building and nearly 90,000 € until year 50 after building the passive house in that scenario.

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