Effective tool for interactive energy planning

We still face considerable challenges as we seek to secure a more sustainable supply of energy. One important thing we need to do is to facilitate the task of smart energy planning. That is why EBP has developed a tool to simplify the entire energy planning process.

Like the signatories to the Paris Climate Agreement, the Swiss Federal Council has also vowed to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. In light of the urgency of our predicament and growing public concern, the task of securing sustainable approaches to supplying energy to municipalities and regions is more relevant than ever. Energy planning that takes account of the spatial relationships across wider geographical areas is an essential instrument when it comes to the intelligent restructuring of our energy systems.

Planning sustainable municipal and regional heating networks

Buildings account for a large share of energy consumption and carbon emissions in Switzerland. This is because a large percentage of the heating systems in Switzerland are powered by fossil fuels such as heating oil and natural gas. The development of more sustainable networks to meet our heating needs presents municipalities with major challenges. Approaches to supplying heat are determined by existing infrastructures, geographic factors and the needs of stakeholders such as homeowners and energy suppliers. Moreover, investment cycles in the area of municipal and regional heating networks tend to be very long, which makes smart planning even more important.

The aim of energy planning today is to present viable approaches to achieving a sustainable heating supply. Working on behalf of the city of Bern, EBP has drafted an energy development plan that outlines how the city’s heating-supply goals can be reached, an energy plan that defines the associated spatial considerations, and specific measures that can be implemented to restructure the energy system.

Using the EBP tool to facilitate the development of sustainable heating solutions

Assessing the current state of our energy systems represents an important starting point. It is essential in this connection to gather reliable data concerning the number, type and age of the buildings in a given area, the types of fuel that are used in specific areas to heat these buildings, and the demand for heating. Indeed, assessing the current state is a necessary prerequisite for identifying the most promising courses of action.

“The EBP tool quickly delivers reliable heating supply data.”

“While our customers need a reliable basis for their planning efforts, they would prefer to concentrate on the development and implementation of specific measures,” says Michel Müller, EBP expert in the area of energy concepts and strategies. That’s why the EBP tool was designed to access current statistical data for all of Switzerland as a means of facilitating energy planning. The data in question are based on SynPop, a synthetic population that EBP has generated for Switzerland. The advantage of the EBP tool is that it gives its users immediate access to reliable information on the existing buildings and heating networks in any given area, essentially guaranteeing that they’ll have much more time to devise and implement appropriate measures. The tool also permits extensive spatial assessments and gives municipal representatives and other stakeholders the means of evaluating the data according to specific user-defined regions.

Interaktive Energieplanung
Supporting the municipality of Urdorf with an interactive tool that enables fine-grained assessments of heating networks

Using the EBP tool to facilitate the transition to sustainable energy-supply solutions

Various sources of renewable energy can be used to reduce our current dependence on fossil fuels such as heating oil and natural gas. These include waste heat, environmental heat, biogas and solar energy. Effective energy planning tells where it makes the most sense to use specific sources of energy and how we can best exploit existing sources. The energy planning process should include input from all of the relevant stakeholders in the supply system. Indeed, experience shows that doing so provides an important basis for a successful restructuring of existing heating supply networks.

“Identifying optimal ways of achieving a sustainable heating supply”

The EBP tool permits interactive energy planning. Users can immediately assess the impact that prospective measures can be expected to have on heating needs, energy sources and carbon emissions. Energy planners can conveniently use it to develop their own measures, for instance, by checking the impact associated with various scenarios. This makes it easier to identify optimal measures on the road to achieving sustainable heating supply solutions.

More information on the EBP tool

EBP has already achieved excellent results with its energy planning tool, deploying it, for instance, to support energy planning processes in the Swiss municipality of Urdorf and to assist in the coordination of heating supply solutions in the region of Lake Zurich-Linth. Please contact us at any time if you also are interested in sustainable heating supply solutions for your community.

Michel Müller
Michel Müller
michel.mueller@ebp.ch

Sabine Perch-Nielsen
Sabine Perch-Nielsen
sabine.perch-nielsen@ebp.ch

Sarah Schöni
Sarah Schöni
sarah.schoeni@ebp.ch

Elio Gubser
Elio Gubser
elio.gubser@ebp.ch