• 22 Jun 2020

    Twinning cities - Adaptation to climate change and energy efficience in Lecce and Smiltene

    On Tuesday 16 June, the Italian city of Lecce in Italy held a virtual discussion with their peers of Smiltene, Latvia. They discussed adaptation to climate change, energy efficiency in schools, data management platform, and the development of integrated energy plans.

    In this online meeting, municipality of Smiltene presented its energy management system. Data management allows for knowing how much energy is used, how much energy can be saved and where to invest for energy efficiency investment.

    In Smiltene, the energy management platform is an online website where all public buildings are monitored. More than 100 buildings are referenced in the portal including administration buildings and public schools. According to this energy management system, CO2 emissions dropped by 25% between 2008 and 2017. Lecce is interested in this issue as they want to further digitalise their data management system for energy. Lecce is also interested in awareness raising in schools via playful competitions or other communication means to reduce energy consumption.

    The city of Lecce, on their side, is involved in two Horizon 2020 projects: SmartEnCity - Towards Smart Zero CO2 Cities across Europe, and PlanHeat - Integrated tool for empowering public authorities in the development of sustainable plans for low carbon heating and cooling.

    Within the PlanHeat project, Lecce acts as a validation city of a tool to develop heating & cooling scenarios for sufficiency.  Lecce is  also currently testing the tool in one neighbourhood with a district heating network scenario.  As part of SmartEnCity, Lecce is developing an Integrated Plan (from SEAP to SECAP). Since 2018, Lecce has been following the 5-step methodology developed by the project:

    1. -          Foundation of a local partnership towards the Smart Zero Carbon City
    2. -          City information gathering
    3. -          Strategic city diagnosis
    4. -          Strategic planning (scenario generation and preferred vision)
    5. -          Integrated Energy Plan and Action Plan.

    One of the key aspects of the process has been public engagement and involvement of stakeholders to get input and feedback.

    The Covenant of Mayors twinning programme aims at facilitating knowledge transfer between cities/towns. They are visiting each other for an exchange of experience on energy and climate related topics. Due to the COVID-19, all return visits have been replaced by online meetings.