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Eurban Update

Vol. 13, January 2016
Dear reader,

Are you ready for Article 8 of the Energy Efficiency Directive?
The implementation of the EED - a European Directive for energy efficiency that requires SMEs to conduct energy audits - has been a messy process in some Member States at the end of 2015. This edition of our Eurban Update highlights the EED and what Eurbanlab can do for you to comply with the EU Directive.

We also highlight some of our latest additions to the Library of Urban Innovations and found an interesting article on Placemaking: The Benefits of Great Places for you to read.  We also discuss how 'Dragon Water' could help power the planet by using the intense heat deep below the Earth's surface. Lastly, we explore the latest developments of solar energy in the article  'What is holding back the growth of solar power?'.

Finally, we highlight the Climate Proof Cities research programme and its findings in our Featured Article: "Climate Proof Cities - The Dutch Case".

If you have something you would like to share with the community in our next Eurban Update, please feel free to send us an e-mail. Thank you for your interest in Eurbanlab!

Kind regards,

Roger Toussaint


Please find below the latest news from the Eurbanlab community, current topics in sustainable urban development and other short updates.

Energy Efficiency Directive requires SMEs to conduct energy audits.

The 2012 Energy Efficiency Directive established a set of binding measures to help the EU reach its 20% energy efficiency target by 2020. Under the Directive, all EU countries are required to use energy more efficiently at all stages of the energy chain from its production to its final consumption.
Article 8 of the EED requires organisations of more than 250 employees - or turning over more than 50 million euros - to conduct audits of the energy used by their buildings, industrial processes and transport to identify cost-effective energy saving measures. Organisations must notify the relevant authorities in their countries by a set deadline that they have complied with their EED obligations. The deadline for the first compliance period was December 5th 2015.
What can Eurbanlab do for you?
Eurbanlab works together with our partners in Europe to ensure full EED compliance for your company:

  1. Develop your EED compliance strategy; 
  2. Implement your Energy Management System (ISO 50001); 
  3. Conduct EED audits & full reporting; 
  4. Conducting Green Deal assessments; 
  5. Issuing your Display Energy Certificates; 
  6. Ensuring you achieve further operational savings via the implementation of your energy savings strategy; 
  7. Calculate transport related carbon liability; 
  8. Fund energy efficiency progress via all funding partners;
  9. If you were unable to make the first deadline, an official request for delay can be send on your behalf.
What happens if my organisation does not comply? 
European countries were required to transpose the Directive's provisions into their national laws by 5 June 2014. The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is the UK response to the Energy Efficiency Directive. Other schemes exist in other European countries, but the compliance deadline is fixed for all European countries. The penalties for non-compliance vary per Member State, but for the UK non-compliance means:
  1. Organisations who fail to comply will have their names published on the scheme Administrator’s website; 
  2. A fixed penalty of up to £50,000 should be paid to the scheme Administrator; and/or 
  3. An additional £500 per day for each day after the compliance date up to £40,000; and 
  4. Publication of non-compliance details.
Clarity and compliance in regards to Article 8 – further discussed below - differs in EU Member States. If your organisation operates in other EU Member States, and if the means of compliance with Article 8 in these countries has not yet been clearly communicated or even ratified, your timeframe for compliance could be exceedingly short.
Messy implementation of the Directive in Europe
Over the past few months it became clear that many European businesses were under-prepared for the Energy Efficiency Directive, much to the fault of the relevant government bodies. Each Member State had to interpret and implement Article 8 within their national context.
In the UK this has taken the form of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS). In the Netherlands this has taken the form of the EED-regeling. Similar schemes exist in other countries. However, the quality of this transposition – involving the communication on the requirements and how non-compliance is enforced - varies significantly between EU Member States, stretching from reputational loss to government-imposed financial penalties.
> Read full article...
Are you ready for Article 8 of the Energy Efficiency Directive?
For more information on EED compliance in your country and the possibilities for conducting an energy audit, please contact us at

Building Holland - (Re)building the Future
We will be there!

Building Holland is a full three-day event for the construction and property sector. This annual event takes place at the RAI Amsterdam. 10,000 visitors and 150 exhibitors come together to share knowledge, network, do business and experience the latest in of innovative products and concepts.
Free registration
Interested in meeting us there? Free tickets are available here!
Have a look at our latest additions to the library of Urban Innovations!
Stuttgart Exhibition Centre - An environmentally friendly exhibition centre.
Villa Kogelhof - A futuristic and self-sufficient villa.
8 Tallet - Denmark's Green-Roofed Eco Village.
I/O at HAN Campus Nijmegen - An energy-neutral educational facility.
View more Urban Innovations (free registration required)

A Thriving Future of Places - Placemaking as the new urban agenda

The current trajectory of urbanization and city-building is not going to get us where we need to go. In fact, if you google “The Future of Cities,” the images that come up reflect a dominant vision, and a caricatured extrapolation of what is currently being built in the “most developed” human settlements. This was Peter Elmlund’s motivation for developing the “Future of Places” program–a partnership with UN-Habitat and Project for Public Spaces which Elmlund runs at Sweden’s Ax:son Johnson Foundation.

The goal of the 4-year program of successive conferences which has convened over 1,400 public space leaders from over 80 countries, has been to advance the focus of public space, streets as public spacespublic markets and Placemaking in the New Urban Agenda and Habitat III. But even more boldly, as Peter put it, our aim has been to shift our city-building future “from objects to places.”

We recently succeeded in getting a UN Habitat issue paper on public space, which includes a strong definition of Placemaking and encompasses many of the principles advanced by Future of Places. But the still larger goal is to focus on how place and Placemaking can help reframe how we can work together to shape our world.

> Read full article... (via pps)
How 'Dragon Water' Could Help Power the Planet
The quest is on to develop new technology that can tap the intense heat deep below the Earth’s surface and supply the whole world with electricity.

An ambitious project is being launched to drill deep into the Earth’s crust to harness super-heated “dragon water” that would generate massive quantities of renewable energy. Unlike traditional geo-thermal heat, which exploits hot rocks to produce steam for turbines, this project goes far deeper − to where the pressure and temperature are huge but the potential benefits are 10 times as great.

There is an infinite amount of energy beneath the Earth’s crust. The problem is the technology to harness it. The European Union (EU) believes that deep drilling techniques developed by the oil industry can be adapted to extract the energy. It has earmarked €15.6 million for a project in which potentially the world’s most energy-rich geothermal well will be drilled at Larderello in Tuscany, Italy.

> Read full article... (via AlterNet)

What is holding back the growth of solar power?
Sixty years ago, the price of solar panels was astronomical. At a cost of $1,910 (£1,350) per watt in today’s money, the only practical use for them was in space on the US Vanguard 1 satellite, which launched in 1958.

But slowly and then precipitously the price of building a solar cell came down. Today it is less than $0.80 (£0.55) per watt. The subsequent proliferation of panels (especially in Europe, China, US and India) has tracked along the dizzying curve that eventually lead to the market domination of the car, the mobile phone and electricity itself.

So could solar follow these inventions and achieve their level of ubiquity? “History tells us that sudden, disruptive and largely unpredictable technology shifts do occur,” said a Deloitte report (pdf) on solar in 2015. In a study released recently in the journal Research Policy, Oxford University researchers found, in the short term, that solar’s upward swing was unstoppable. The researchers said falling manufacturing costs, which have dropped by 10% a year since the 1980s, would grow solar’s share of global electricity from roughly 1.5% today, to as much as 20% by 2027.

> Read full article... (via The Guardian)

Featured article

We aim to include a featured article in each newsletter. These articles provide in-depth information into current developments or interesting innovations. If you would like to contribute by sharing your insights, please send us an e-mail and submit your idea for the next newsletter!

Climate Proof Cities - The Dutch Case

All cities in the Netherlands, large and small, are vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The degree of vulnerability varies considerably within urban areas. This means that making cities more climate proof can be done most efficiently by taking many relatively small and local measures. Many of these can be carried out simultaneously with major repairs or renovations. This does require collaboration with many and various parties.

These are the most important findings of the Climate Proof Cities (CPC) research programme. This programme has yielded much insight in making Dutch cities climate proof, with a focus on heat stress and flooding due to heavy rainfall. The programme was carried out by a consortium of ten universities and knowledge institutes that worked together for four years with municipalities, water boards and the national government to provide answers to knowledge questions from practice.

> Read the full article...
What is an Urban Innovation?
Eurbanlab defines Urban Innovations as "urban (re)development projects that incorporate systemic innovations, involving new or modified concepts, systems, products and/or techniques, that contribute to low-carbon, climate resilient development, on the scale of a street or upwards.
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