The SINFONIA project – a five-year initiative to deploy large-scale, integrated and scalable energy solutions in middle-sized European cities – was launched on June 25th in the city of Borås, Sweden. At the heart of the initiative is a unique cooperation between the cities of Bolzano and Innsbruck, working hand in hand to achieve 40 to 50% primary energy savings and increase the share of renewables by 20% in two demonstration sites in Innsbruck and Bolzano. This will be done through an integrated set of measures combining the retrofitting of more than 100,000m² of living surface, the optimisation of the electricity grid, and solutions for district heating and cooling.
SINFONIA is part of the Smart Cities and Communities initiative of the European Commission, and as such aims to foster the uptake of smart energy efficient solutions Europe-wide. A large part of the project is therefore dedicated to the transferability and scalability of the solutions deployed in the two pioneer districts, which will be ensured by the active participation of five early-adopter cities in the project, namely La Rochelle (FR), Rosenheim (DE), Pafos (CY), Seville (ES) and Borås (SE). Fifteen other European cities have also expressed their interest in the expected project results, and have already formed a ‘Replication Cluster’ committed to learn and exchange ideas in parallel to the technical work.
“A close and long term collaboration between city authorities from seven European countries representing a wide variety of regulatory environments and climate zones, together with strong involvement of public and private stakeholders is what makes the SINFONIA project both unique and ambitious”, said project coordinator Jason Nielsen from SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden.
Showing what works well in a city and hoping that others will follow is not enough. To bridge the gap between demonstration and replication, SINFONIA will define a limited set of district typologies and corresponding refurbishment models. To ensure their scalability and transferability, these models and typologies will be tested and validated with all stakeholders involved – public and private, from citizen to energy regulators – as part of the project.