[News]
02/2010
Brochure about "Energy in Minds" published

During the last years “Energy in Minds” demonstrated that it is in fact possible, even in energy-advanced cities, to realize the ambitious goal of saving up to 30% of fossil energy in 5 years.
The 4 Energy in Minds communities have reduced their CO2-emissions by 50.000 tons per year. This corresponds to the CO2-emissions of 10.400 cars driving once around the world every year.

In order to show good examples and results of our project we generated a brochure "THE ENERGY EFFICIENT CITY - an EU project shows effect". The brochure shows the variety of the different energy saving measures carried out since May 2005.

Brochure in English
Brochure in German

Graphic and layout nadja.mueller.id@hotmail.de
12/2010
Solar Sludge Drying Plant - on TV
The solar sludge drying plant was finished at the beginning of September 2009.

On the 15th of September 2009 the first sludge was put in the greenhouse.
This event was accompied by a film team from a local TV "LTV". Interviews were held and shots of the processes in the solar sludge drying plant were made. The film was broadcasted at the end of 2009.

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This content is provided by http://www.l-tv.de.
The copyright holder is l-tv. The film must not be copied.

An information event will be held at the solar sludge drying plant on the 22nd of March 2010. For more information see international event above.
08/2009
HIGHLIGHTS in the CONCERTO cities

- Neckarsulm (NSU), Germany
- Falkenberg (Falk), Sweden
- Energy Region Weiz Gleisdorf (ERWG), Austria
- Zlin (Zlin), Czech Republic
PV systems (NSU)

The number of installed PV systems for private households surpassed the expectations of Concerto by more than double. The reason for the high interest of people in PV installations is the high reimbursement they get for feeding the produced electricity into the grid. At the same time high loans are given by the government.
Solar Sludge Drying Plant (NSU)

The solar sludge drying plant will be finished in September 2009. When it became clear that the central sewage treatment plant had to be retrofitted an innovative concept was worked out. Solar energy and a floor heating system (fed with thermal energy from the co-generation plants and a heat pump) is used to dry out the sludge in a solar greenhouse to a water content of less than 35%. In doing so volume and weight of the sludge reduces up to 70%. This dry "sludge" can be easily disposed or can be used as a bio-fuel in a nearby wood-chip central heating station in the future. The economic potential by reducing transport and disposal cost is significant. The expected CO2 reductions are 7.000 t/a. In spring 2010 a conference will be organized showing first results and disseminating knowledge about this innovative approach.
Biomass Co-generation Plant "Trendpark" (NSU)

A new kind of co-generation plant with Organic-Rankine-Cycle (ORC) in Neckarsulm Trendpark serves together with a 6 MW wood chips burner as a central heating station. By increasing the heat load from originally about 7.000 MWh to about 22.000 MWh the operation of the plant gets more efficient due to longer running hours. 3.000 tons CO2 will be saved per year. First monitoring results show that the measure was very successful.
Retrofit of the "Neubergschule" (NSU)

In June 2007, the high efficient retrofit of the “Neubergschule” was finished. Besides the retrofit of the building envelope a new heating system was installed consisting of two pellet boiler (each 69 kW) and a prototype stirling engine (1 kWel/3 kWth). The primary energy is reduced by more than 75%. When taking the electricity of the PV system and stirling into consideration the school becomes a primary energy supplier. The Neubergschule is a positive example showing that the combination of good insulation of the building envelope and an energy efficient heating system contributes to the successful implementation of a retrofit.
Pellet Burners, Biomass District Heating Systems (Falk)

Small pellet burners run very well in Falkenberg. From the start of the project altogether 292 m3/a of fossil oil were replaced by wood pellets in 100 private homes resulting in CO2 savings of about 760 kg per year. The use of biomass is also increased by the enlargement of the district heating net in the town of Falkenberg producing heat from wood chips. The number of connected costumers has increased from 210 to 462 during the last 4 years.
Wind Turbines (Falk)

Since March 2007 five new wind turbines near the sea shore of Falkenberg with 2,3 MW each are generating about 30 GWh renewable electricity per year. This is equal to the annual requirement of 7,000 households. The turbines are providing valuable planning input for a large offshore park with 30 turbines, about 8 km out to sea. Once the plan has been realised, electricity generated by wind power in Falkenberg will correspond to the annual power demand for the municipality.
New Low Energy Buildings (Falk)

Three low energy multi-family housing units in the Hertings Gård neighbourhood completed in December 2008 are the first in Falkenberg designed according to passive building principles. The monitoring results show an average energy use for heat and hot water of 45 kWh/m², less than half the accepted demand for new buildings in Sweden. Other housing companies and politicians in neighbouring municipalities have shown a great interest in the building concept used in these houses. Energy in Minds has already served as inspiration for similar buildings in Sweden. A smart box (touch screen display) was installed in each apartment visualizing the current energy consumption thus helping tenants to save energy .
Measures in private households (ERWG)

Due to lots of information campaigns, press conferences and publications private persons get more and more active in saving energy. The number of retrofits, new low energy buildings, installation of solar thermal systems, etc. has increased a lot since the start of Energy in Minds. The good publicity of “Energy in minds!“ helps that a lot of inhabitants in the Energy Region Weiz-Gleisdorf are willing to invest in a better energy standard. Also the financial support of Energy in minds! helps to push this trend.
Energy Checks (ERWG)

In order to identify buildings with exceptionally high energy consumption an energy check is provided to house owners. More than 800 energy checks for buildings were carried out informing the building owners about possible measures for their houses. The energy check in combination with personnel advice leads – in many cases - to retrofit-measures for houses with high energy demand. The Concerto goal for the retrofit of houses is to get below the energy standard by 30 percent. In Weiz-Gleisdorf the energy checks resulted in the reduction of the energy consumption of about 30 single-family buildings by more than 50 percent. This contributes to CO2 savings of about 475 tons per year.
Linear Generator (ERWG)

A gas driven small co-generation plant (linear generator) with an electrical power of 0,3 – 2 kWel and a thermal power of 3 – 16 kWel was realized in August 2008. It is a research project realized in the waste water association. A part of the digester gas is used in the linear generator. The electricity demand of 2 single family houses will be produced per year.
Earth Sheltered Houses (Zlin)

The eco-village Jizni Chlum near Zlin consists of earth-sheltered houses. Their energy consumption is close to the passive house standard and is basically covered from renewable sources. The building is covered with earth. Only the front façade is visible. This results in combination with good insulation in low heat losses through the building envelope.
Energy Management (Zlin)

The position of an energy manager was established in 2006 in the context of Energy in Minds. He is responsible for the energy consumption of all public buildings owned or operated by the city of Zlin. He proposes and ensures the implementation of non- and low-costs measures for the reduction of the energy consumption. In summer 2006, individual room control systems were installed in 5 elementary and 10 nursery schools in Zlin resulting in 30% less energy consumption. Savings of about 2 GWh per year correspond to yearly CO2 reductions of about 850 tons.
Communal Waste Depot (Zlin)

In Autumn 2007 a technology was installed at Zlin’s central depot enabling to re-process the biodegradable wastes into a certified combustible (”energic”) compost. The new technology is based on aerobe fermentation of bio-wastes i.e. 1) biodegradable wastes collected at home composters and picked up with a special mixing car, 2) grass, leaves and woods brought from the city parks and forests, 3) wastes from school & public building dining rooms. After approx. 100 hrs of the aerobe process, the fermentor provides the energic compost with a heating value of ca 3,2 kWh/kg. The capacity of the plant is 1500 tons of biodegradable wastes a year, with the production of ca 900 tons of energic compost. It is currently combusted in the central heating plant, with energy yields of approx. 2,88 GWh/year. Replacing brown coal by “energic compost” results in CO2 savings of more than 1.000 tons per year. This technology, together with the large-scale PV system of approx. 200 kWp located at the communal waste depot, will also be used as a ”demo-park” presenting utilization of various kinds of renewable energies. A daily monitoring system of parameters of the landfill gas generated at the communal waste depot was introduced in order to produce only the gas with the optimum parameters.

09/2009
Energy Courses in Falkenberg
Successful implemenation in 2009!


From 2005, Halmstad University gave two energy courses a year each lasting 2 weeks. The courses were given in English at a boarding school in Falkenberg. Falkenberg is leading in the area of solar thermal systems and wind energy in Sweden since the 80ies.

As the courses were held in the context of "Energy in Minds" and thus were supported by the Commission they were free of costs both for education and boarding. About 20 – 25 students were accepted to every course.

Topics in 2009 were:
"Wind Power Technology" – 8th - 18th June 2009
"Solar Heating Technology" – 3rd - 14th of August 2009
"Efficient Energy Use" – 17th - 28th of August 2009

The first courses were held in summer 2006. The feedback was very positive. The 50 participants from 8 different countries were enthusiastic about having the opportunity to learn more about energy matters and exchange knowledge between different European countries.
Summer courses 2006

New courses in 2010?
The interest for the academic courses has grown constantly during the last years. Among the participants there were not only students from European countries but also from Latin America and Asia. Halmstad University is very interested to go on with this type of courses, perhaps within another EU program in cooperation with other universities.
02/2007
New Observer Communities

We were happy to welcome 5 new observer communities at the beginning of 2007 coming from

- Wieselburg, Austria
- Värnamo, Sweden
- Comunità Montana Val Pellice, Italy
- Provincia di Biella, Italy
- Trier, Germany

Several communities had shown interest, those having the most ambitious and concrete plans for realisation were chosen.
We already had interesting meetings exchanging experiences and knowledge in energy saving measures.

The Observer are welcome to participate in many of the information and dissemination measures of the four "main cities". This provides them with a good basis to start preparing their own Concerto initiatives.

The observer communities are closely integrated in the training and knowledge exchange activities. They further locally undertake preparative measures in order to be in a few years ready for a full implementation of the Concerto approach.