The energy system is crucial to the future prosperity and liveability of European cities. It provides a smart integrated system that is able to meet a city’s energy demand in the most carbon and cost-efficient way. A city’s energy demand includes everyday choices and activities pursued by its citizens and business as well as the operation of its supporting infrastructure to allow the city to operate effectively. This system needs to be secure, resilient, affordable, clean and sustainable. If cities want to have a bright future that overcomes the challenges that they face, then they need to think carefully about how they develop their future energy system.
Energy transition is a long-term structural change in energy systems aimed at developing a secure, affordable and climate-friendly energy system better able to manage and balance dynamic patterns of supply and demand from a national and even European level right down to a local level. This must enhance both national and European energy security while ensuring energy equality: affordable energy accessible to all citizens.
The word “transition” alludes to the change from a present state to a future one. This undertaking consists of integrating innovative smart technology and control systems in order to help optimise the effective use of energy and minimise primary energy demand, through for example better control of energy use in buildings and the integration of city infrastructure and energy planning.
To be able to meet our energy demand in a cost-effective way it's essential to minimise energy demand, diversify our energy sources, by maximising the use of for example recoverable heat, renewable energy and power to gas solutions, and maximising cost-effective combinations of storage options including thermal, hydrogen and electrical in a smart decentralised energy system. These efforts will ultimately deliver a more sustainable and secure energy system model that minimises demand for primary energy and takes account of environmental, social and economic challenges. Achieving the energy transition is vital to limit the impact of climate change whilst stimulating activity in the local economy and creating jobs, securing Europe’s leading position in the global Cleantech market and ultimately delivering the Paris Agreement and the 2030 European Climate & Energy Framework.