Italy's Pilot Activity: Let'sGOv - GOverning the Transition through Pilot Actions
Description of activities
In Italy and in some of the European Countries, the co-production of energy systems is slowed down by several barriers (constraints of the regulatory framework, lack of data and agile financial resources to support decision-making and detailed monitoring, lack of skills in the public and private sectors, absence of ad hoc protocols, agreements or standardised procedures).
To support systemic transformation and overcome block thinking, the 9 Italian Cities involved in the “100 Climate Neutral Cities by 2030” Mission Cities are committed to collectively experimenting with multi-level and multi-stakeholder governance as the only way to achieve the challenging emission reduction targets. The aim is to operate at 3 levels: network, cluster and city levels:
- The network level brings together the 9 cities in a cross-city bench learning approach through exchanges of experience and good practices, agreements and MoUs;
- The cluster level, where cities address governance challenges through three levers:
- The Engagement Cluster focuses on reducing energy system-related emissions through the exploration of enhanced governance models to agree on new forms of energy alliances by enhancing engagement mechanisms with particular focus on the enabling of new forms of Renewable Energy production, consumption and sharing models. The spread of these models, following the governance enhancement, will directly impact GHG emission by leveraging precise and effective interventions targeting the reduction of the energy demand and widening the access to clean and locally produced energy.
- The Data Cluster focuses on reducing energy system-related emissions through the exploration of enhanced governance models to define the conditions for energy-enhanced multi-level governance by increasing multilevel data-sharing that generates inside and outside governance’s organisational restructuring, with the aim to remove the data-related barriers (lack of data or of organised and specific database) to support decision-making and detailed monitoring. The improved energy data access and governance should directly impact GHG emission by providing grounded knowledge oriented towards precise and effective energy efficiency interventions.
- The Finance Cluster focuses on reducing energy system-related emissions through the exploration of innovative financial strategies to accelerate the energy transition. To facilitate the provision of agile financial resources to support systemic transformation and overcome block thinking, Let’sGOv is committed to collectively experimenting with multi-level and multi-stakeholder governance as the only way to achieve the challenging emission reduction targets. The experimentation of innovative financial models should directly impact GHG emission by supporting the acceleration and planning of energy efficiency interventions at city level. Each city shall participate in all clusters to spread the knowledge and create a common baseline of knowledge and skills.
- The city level, where specific experimentation will provide punctual solutions across the three cluster themes.
Reducing energy-related emissions through the exploration of enhanced governance models to agree on new forms of energy alliances, unlock financial resources and define the conditions for enhanced multi-level governance.
This will be done at three levels:
- Network level where all the 9 Italian cities will work together;
- At thematic cluster level on engagement, data accessibility and finance;
- At city level where pilot activities from thematic clusters will be tested.
In particular, expected outcomes linked to the three clusters and pilot experimentations are:
- The Let’sGOv Engagement Cluster outcome is to become a driving force for other cities to bring about systemic changes in their internal governance thanks to the replicability and scalability of procedures and guidelines for the best engagement of the end users on sustainable energy matters such as Renewable Energy production, consumption and community sharing models at local level.
- The Let’sGOv Data Cluster main outcome is to strengthen the internal and multi-level governance to increase data accessibility at city level to achieve energy efficiency and lowering energy consumption.
- The Let’sGOv Finance Cluster outcome is linked to the exploration of innovative financial mechanisms finalised to boost energy efficiency and renewable energy installation at local level.
What are the challenges that cities would like to address with the pilot activities?
The 9 mission cities will focus on empowering internal and external governance to solve some of the main challenges to achieve carbon neutrality through shared and city-specific activities. These are the identified barriers to carbon neutrality shared by the 9 cities, that Let’sGOv will address through its actions:
- Internal silos-thinking functioning of municipalities that does not facilitate systemic and transversal processes;
- Limited transversal skills and knowledge inside municipalities and limited capacities to share best and worst cases with peers;
- Limited capacity to provide effective support and information to citizens and to involve them in strategic decision making approaches.
- External communication and involvement of relevant stakeholders at cross-cities levels (for example important energy players at regional and national level);
- External governance and involvement of key local actors and citizens at city level;
- Limited availability of qualitative energy data and limited interoperability;
- Absence of standardised pathways and shared protocols on the implementation of innovative activities on the energy sectors and high amount of bureaucracy.
In particular, 3 challenges will be addressed at Clusters level and will provide the focus of the city-level experimentations:
- The Let’sGOv Engagement Cluster aims at addressing internal and external governance bottlenecks in achieving carbon neutrality. In particular, the stable, long-term and effective involvement of citizens and local actors in collective energy initiatives is difficult due, in part, to the absence of stabilised alliances, shared memoranda of understanding, standardised pathways and protocols and high amount of bureaucracy on key aspects such as energy data sharing, carbon reduction collaborations, common protocols on protected areas (e.g. constraints in the implementation of PVpanels on historic context).
- The Let’sGOv Data Cluster aims to solve some of the main challenges to achieve carbon neutrality by tackling the lack of quality energy data, in particular, the limited availability of qualitative energy data (held by scattered and different platforms). An essential step is to share the data held by the various public and private actors.
- The Let’sGOv Finance Cluster aims to accelerate innovative funding schemes for energy efficiency by empowering internal and external governance to achieve carbon neutrality.
Main questions to be answered for each specific cluster will be:
- Engagement Cluster: how to promote citizens’ and city actors’ engagement, information sharing and collaborations into the energy system through solutions that support the reduction of consumption in energy systems? How to support the spread of these solutions on a multi-level perspective?
- Data Cluster: how to create an integrated information sharing system to support decision-making (step-by-step calibration of policy), efficient design and continuous policy monitoring?
- Finance Cluster: how to accelerate, adjust, and strengthen fundings and innovative funding schemes for energy efficiency and renewable energy installations?
Are cities building upon or part of a previous and/or existing activity?
This pilot is strongly interconnected with the 9 cities’ current effort to achieve the 100 Climate neutral cities by 2030 Mission objectives. Thus mutual benefit will be developed between Let’sGOv and the ongoing actions towards climate neutrality and also other H2020 and Horizon Europe projects in the cities.
Actions to increase energy efficiency and boost the creation of energy communities to tackle energy poverty are deployed by Milan (NRG2peers), by Bologna (GRETA), the One Stop Shops in Padova(PadovaFITExpanded), Parma (FEASIBLE) and Bologna, the Energy office in Bergamo, the experimental action in Turin, aimed at orientation and awareness-raising about funding opportunities offered for the development of renewable energy communities with social impact. The implementation of structured engagement processes around energy was experimented in Padova (2ISECAP). A fertile baseline of steps towards city platforms and data agreements to overcome constraints to the energy efficiency (Data Cluster) have been undertaken by some of the cities in the last years in the CoM and SCC programs (Florence, Bologna, Milan, Parma, Padova) but must now be extended and improved to cover all districts and sectors and accelerate the path towards carbon neutrality. To fulfil these requirements, some cities have acted in a first round on their internal structure, creating interdepartmental steering taskforces and internal models to overcome silos, that should be now extended to include other levels and be more effective. Multi-governance data management and collection in policy making is also addressed through EU projects by Prato (UPSURGE), Florence (REPLICATE) and Rome (Platoon).
In the innovative finance domain (Finance Cluster) the cities have been piloting some projects, such as Milan Transition Fund, or Parma financing scheme in cooperation with a bank institute to stimulate sustainable energy investments of homeowners. At the same time Rome has been working on the preparation of large investments on energy system efficiency of public buildings, in line with the objectives of the EU Renovation Wave.
This variety of projects add up to other National and international ones like Turin Cesba Med, Bergamo EfficienCE, Bologna GECO, Milan EP-0).
Which emissions domains will the pilot activity address?
Systemic transformation – levers of change the pilot activities will exploit
Stakeholder types that cities would like to engage in the pilot activities
Engagement of stakeholders at all levels is crucial within Let’sGOv, from the local to the EU level and across the thematic clusters of the project. The list of stakeholders includes:
The work on the three clusters will involve as main stakeholders:
Transferable features of pilot activities to a twin city/ies
- Let’sGOv will produce transferable lessons learned at city-level, governance solutions at cluster level and methodological insight to work in a national network, connected to the international dimension.
- Cluster-based experience will provide concrete/usable knowledge (in terms of documents, reports, models for agreements) to accelerate energy transition solutions, working on the creation of renewable energy production and energy sharing models and more generally of multi-level stakeholders’ engagement, data mining and data literacy for energy efficiency, financial models to support buildings retrofitting actions and, more generally, of multi-level stakeholders engagement.
- The most interesting replicability potential lies in the shared method based on the network dimension of the Pilot, based on a cooperation model and continuous revised, network-produced knowledge community on empowered governance to accelerate energy transition.
This answer is not exhaustive and simply an indicative one.
Components of the transferable features
- In particular, the science-based innovative methodology applied, together with the 9 experimentations and the toolkits produced, can benefit cities that are consistent in size with our 9 Pilot Cities and currently struggling with internal and external capacity building, but still committed to implement actions toward climate neutrality.
- Engagement cluster: Toolkit for multi-level stakeholder engagement. The toolkit will be implemented following a strong involvement with relevant stakeholders such as citizens and energy providers.
- Data cluster: Provision of a strategy and a methodology for energy data availability and sharing.
- Finance cluster: Provision of innovative financial models for renewable energy transition.
This answer is not exhaustive and simply an indicative one.
What do cities want to learn from Twin City/ies?
Benchmarking, peer learning and provision of recommendations on:
- Innovative internal (including innovative capacity building and cross-sectoral collaboration) and external multi-level and multi-sectoral governance (including stakeholders and citizens) on energy and climate;
- How to provide stable, long-term, effective involvement of citizens and local actors and stabilised alliances around energy and climate;
- How to create multi-level guidelines and agreements for the development of renewable energy consumption, production and energy sharing models; data sharing;
- How to access innovative funding schemes for energy efficiency and renewable energy.
This answer is not exhaustive and simply an indicative one.