The present paper analyzes the technical and economic aspects of municipal energy planning, assessing the contribution coming from different energy-saving measures in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction, and estimating the local authorities' investment necessary to foster climate change mitigation. Results are based on three municipal energy plans developed for urban areas located in Marche Region with a number of inhabitants ranging from 5,000 to 100,000. Different aspects of municipal energy management connected to urban size have been investigated. The public administration role has been analyzed in detail in order to identify the determinant factors for municipal energy market involvement. Various opportunities and measures can be undertaken by municipalities to steer the energy system in the right direction, such as building codes, administration simplification, information campaigns and pilot projects aimed at reducing the public administration expenditure and also driving changes in the private sectors. The following barriers to municipal energy market participation have been identified: i) rules of municipal budgeting with debt limit, ii) difficult access to non-budgetary sources and iii) lack of human resources dedicated to energy-related issues. Several energy-saving measures have been analyzed for both public and private sectors such as: i) thermal insulation and introduction of photovoltaic (PV) power generation in schools, ii) introduction of micro-combined heat and power (CHP) system as well as geothermal energy in residential sector, iii) CHP systems in the industry sector. Factors suitable for the analysis of urban areas characterized by similar parameters (climate condition, urban density, socio-economic indexes) have been found out. Results reveal that an efficient local energy planning is able to achieve, at least, a 10% reduction of the energy demand, thus helping the achievement of the ambitious EU's 2020 targets. In particular, the main contribution is expected to come from low-carbon measures in the industry and residential sector.
|Journal||International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning|
|Publication status||Published (in print/issue) - 2012|