Improving governance and regional coordination through data: the ePLANET data platform forum

Improving governance and regional coordination through data: the ePLANET data platform forum

At the fourth stakeholder forum of the ePLANET project, participants discussed the new data platform tool. The tool will ease and speed up the SECAP drafting and monitoring process, enable the analysis of buildings' energy performance, and facilitate better planning of energy communities.

In the effort to meet the targets of the energy transition, coordination between local authorities and regional governments is imperative. A significant element of this cooperation involves data sharing. The ePLANET project enables massive data gathering by making data widely available and comparable, and then by analysing this data to provide precise knowledge for the benefit of key stakeholders.

The ePLANET project is working in three pilot regions: Zlín (Czechia), Girona (Spain), and Crete (Greece). The project has four objectives, specifically:

  1. To develop a harmonised data-sharing platform (described below);
  2. To create a database of energy transition plans and measures (to support the regional transition and decision-making process);
  3. To develop a collaborative framework that drives the development and updating of energy transition plans;
  4. To develop a new clustering governance based on harmonised information, that improves decision-making.

Introducing the ePLANET digital platform

On the 18th of November 2022, the partners behind the ePLANET consortium arranged a stakeholder forum to discuss the new digital platform developed by the project.

To begin, Gerard Laguna (CIMNE) and Pau Sola (inerGy) discussed different use cases for the platform, followed by a live presentation of the beta version of the first two cases:

  1. Digitalisation of SECAP drafting and monitoring process;
  2. Analysis of the energy performance of public buildings;
  3. Geo-tools for the planning and promotion of local and regional energy communities.
  4. Analysis of the renewable energy production potential of public buildings.

The new online digital platform automatically gathers data about energy consumption. On one side, it uploads all data about the performance of buildings; on the other, it uploads all the data on SECAP plans. These are subsequently presented in clear, easy-to-follow graphs and charts (bar charts, pie charts, line graphs, etc.) which can quickly be viewed through different data filters and exported to any file format one desires.

In all, the open access of data enables users to see how far along different SECAPs are in their implementation, showing which actions are pending, in progress, or already complete. Each municipality has different screens and materials available, depending on what work they are focusing on.

From this, Pau explained, one can analyse which are the most effective policies to implement, as well as think about where the most impactful geographic areas to implement them would be. As such, the tool benefits actors from all levels of governance: from the local level to the national level, the observatory tool supports decision-making on policies.

Practically, it is also simple for users to upload their data: every time one updates one’s information on SECAPs (every 2 years at minimum), the individual data will be synthesised and presented in an automatic fashion – no need to spend time conducting a manual review.

Use case 1: SECAPs

Below, you may find a preview of how the data platform presents data regarding SECAPs. Figure 1.1 indicates the annual GWh consumption of electricity (left), gas and combustibles (centre), and the sum of all sources (right). It also compares estimated consumption with real consumption. Meanwhile, figure 1.2 provides a cross-annual comparison of consumed electricity, gas, combustible fuels, and a sum. As one can see, the images are elegantly displayed with distinct colours and labels establishing accessibility.

 

Figure 1.2: SECAPs visualization, yearly municipal energy consumption per energy source.

Use Case 2: Analysis of the energy performance of the public building stock

The second demonstrated use case concerns the energy performance of public buildings. Taking the example of Barcelona’s L’Hospitalet de Llobregat district, the platform shows the energy consumption of public buildings on a month-by-month breakdown, as well as across multiple years. This precision enables a more meaningful analysis of buildings’ energy performance which can be further specified according to individual needs, with the help of various “drop-down” buttons. All graphs and data are also available in multiple languages.

 

Figure 2.2: Building energy performance, building consumption evolution.

The ePLANET digital data platform is set to be released around the end of this calendar year, once all the defined use cases have been implemented

 

Illustration: ePLANET

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