Sustainable Energy Communities NEWS
ZEROHEROES - the Provinces of Siena in Italy and Limburg in Belgium strive to become carbon-neutral
Author: Katrin JULLIEN, come2CoM Project Coordinator (2010-11), Germany / Meike LÖHR, come2CoM Project Coordinator (2011-2012), Beratungs- und Service-Gesellschaft Umwelt mbH, Germany - Email
In 2009 the Province of Limburg expressed its ambition to become carbon neutral in the whole area. Ideal circumstances to run the project come2CoM. Bond Beter Leefmilieu (BBL), the Belgium come2CoM partner, allied with the province of Limburg, together with Infrax, an energy supplier and Dubolimburg, an organisation in favour of sustainable building to share the different tasks of supporting municipalities. BBL guides in setting up local climate policy, Dubolimburg prepares the baseline emission inventories, and develops together with BBL the climate action plans (SEAP). Infrax is responsible for generating crucial data such as energy uses. The province of Limburg made a scientific baseline emission inventory for the whole area and several scenarios to become carbon neutral. Signing the CoM is generally regarded as a first logical step towards carbon neutrality. In any way, all partners follow the logical sequence of steps of CoM: first making a baseline emission inventory, second making a SEAP, third executing the SEAP and fourth evaluating and resetting if necessary.
The Province of Siena has set a very ambitious target for its territory: to become CARBON FREE by 2015. To assess this target, the emission balances available since 2005 had to be approved according to the ISO 14064 by an international certification body (RINA spa).
The path to become carbon neutral can already count on a big amount of renewable production (especially from geothermal energy for electricity production and district heating) and the support of a technology innovation industrial pole which has been founded through an agreement among the main stakeholders such as the region Tuscany, Province, university, financial institutions, chamber of commerce etc.
The last balance verified by RINA in 2008 shows that the difference between the forestry absorptions and the total emissions was about 17%, the local emission pro capita was of 5,6t/y (1t/y counting the absorptions) while the national one was of 9,1 t/y (7,6 with the absorptions).
Image: Electricity demand and supply in Siena Province
In its role as CoM supporting structure the Province aims at traducing provincial policies into local plans. To provide support to municipalities the province has:
- set up an energy agency to elaborate local emission balances and to provide experienced technical assistants
- tendered financial support to municipalities to develop light audits on public buildings
- given financial support for small PV plants
- controlled on thermal plants and supported measures for the scrapping of obsolete heating systems
- carried out a survey to create a database of public buildings and public areas to investigate the possibilities of RES&RUE exploitation
- organised an energy week for dissemination and information on energy issues
- pursued the Agenda 21 “Terre di Siena”, a tool for the involvement of citizens and interested parties and for the comparison and diffusion of the best environmental and social practices