Izmir's Pilot City Activity: Digital Solutions for Electricity Consumption by Global Climate Community Izmir (GCC-SYNERGY)

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Background

GCC-SYNERGY aims to foster a culture of electricity energy efficiency and accelerate the adoption of renewable energy sources, drawing on the commitment outlined in Izmir’s Climate City Contract.

The pilot activity addresses electricity consumption in buildings, facilities and infrastructure which accounts for approximately one third of the city’s carbon emissions.

GCC-SYNERGY is a digital platform for managing the electricity consumption by providing real-time monitoring, analysis and actionable insights, and provides a collaborative space for diverse stakeholders, including GCC Izmir members, neighbourhood residents, relevant institution representatives, decision-makers and energy resource providers, to learn from each other and seek solutions for energy efficiency and renewable energy adoption.

The Pilot activity addresses the main barriers and challenges related to:

  • accessing energy consumption data (standardisation, data formats and platforms, data security and privacy);
  • the high upfront costs of energy-saving technologies and long payback period;
  • limited energy saving awareness among residents; political and financial barriers including economic difficulties of the country and current inflation rates; and, administrative challenges including competing municipal funding priorities.

The GCC-SYNERGY will be managed by the Global Climate Community (GCC Izmir), an urban alliance for city-wide stakeholder engagement consisting of a steering committee, working groups and a coordination office  managed under a department of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality.

Description of Activities

The main activities of GCC SYNERGY comprises of:

  • Integrating selected pilot consumers into the GCC SYNERGY platform to optimise their energy usage and transition towards sustainable practices.
  • Use the platform to connect electricity consumers and renewable energy producers to collaborate in adopting energy-efficient technologies and embracing renewable energy sources.
  • Create a digital twin for one pilot neighbourhood to define the solar energy potential through energy output assessment, identifying areas for photovoltaic placement. The digital twin will also be used to create awareness for users around their energy consumption.
  • Create a training portal as part of the platform to support citizens in understanding their energy consumption and impacts and making informed choices about ways to improve energy efficiency and shift to alternative energy sources based on best practice examples and access to energy service providers.
  • Develop an incentives framework established through the platform to facilitate behaviour change of energy consumers. This could be around earning points for sustainable energy practices and receiving a token to spend to spend of sustainable products. The details will be defined during this activity.

Develop a policy framework to support more energy efficient practices and fostering the renewable energy production ecosystem

Objective

GCC SYNERGY digital platform aims to revolutionise the management of electricity consumption and serve as a catalyst for Izmir’s decarbonisation efforts, empowering electricity consumers to optimise their energy usage and transition towards sustainable practices.

Are the pilot activities building upon or part of a previous and/or existing activity?

GCC-SYNERGY is a natural progression of Izmir’s robust commitment to sustainability and energy efficiency. The city has strong plans such as the 5-year Strategic Plan, the Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP) and the Green City Action Plan, all of which emphasise reducing carbon emissions and promoting renewable energy.  The city has also pioneered EU projects like the BEST FOR ENERGY to develop innovative, green, and competitive industries and to increase the global competitiveness level of renewable energy service and equipment industry in Izmir by upgrading the value-creating companies in the cluster.

GCC-SYNERGY builds on these achievements by integrating digital technologies to provide real-time monitoring and management of electricity consumption. It leverages the insights and community engagement practices established by these past efforts to enhance efficiency and foster widespread adoption of sustainable energy solutions. This project will amplify Izmir’s trajectory towards carbon neutrality, aligning with its Climate City Contract (CCC) commitments.

Which emissions domains will the pilot activities address?

  • Consumption of electricity generated for buildings, facilities, and infrastructure

Systemic transformation – levers of change the pilot activities will exploit

  • Learning & Capabilities 

  • Data & Digitalisation 

Stakeholder types that the city would like to engage in the pilot activities 

  • Research Institutions

  • Citizens

  • Public/Private Partnerships

  • Business

Transferable features of the pilot activities to a Twin City/ies 

  • Participation framework that outlines the governance model of GCC Izmir to ensure participation from diverse stakeholders.
  • An integrated digital system that enables real-time monitoring and analysis of electricity consumption.
  • Strategies for integrating renewable energy sources, particularly solar power, into the electricity mix.
  • Carbon footprint calculator and mitigation guidance that enable participants to calculate their carbon footprint based on electricity consumption and receive tailored mitigation strategies.
  • An online resource hub for training and capacity building in electricity energy efficiency and sustainable practices.
  • Best practices guideline to share the results of pilot projects across various sectors to test and demonstrate effective energy-efficient technologies and practices.
  • A structured approach for a policy and incentive framework to engaging the community and incentivising sustainable behaviours.

Twin cities will have the opportunity to focus deeply and create locally specific solutions in the field of electricity energy efficiency and the transition to renewable energy, which are an important lever in the climate neutrality target.

This answer is not exhaustive and simply an indicative one.

Enabling conditions that will support the successful replication of your pilot activities in the Twin City

For the successful replication of GCC-SYNERGY in a Twin City, the keys enabling conditions are:

  • Smart Grid Infrastructure – a robust network of smart grids and smart meters is essential for real-time monitoring and data collection.
  • High-Speed Internet Connectivity – reliable and widespread internet access to support digital platform functionalities and data communication.
  • Supportive Policy Framework – policies that encourage and facilitate sustainable energy practices, such as incentives for renewable energy adoption and energy efficiency measures.
  • Effective Local Governance – a clear governance structure that can coordinate and oversee the implementation of the project.
  • Availability of funding mechanisms and financial incentives to support the deployment of digital solutions and renewable energy technologies.
  • Technical Skills and Expertise – availability of skilled professionals and technical experts who can implement, manage, and maintain the digital platform and energy systems.
  • Strong community interest and willingness to engage in sustainable practices and participate in the digital platform.
  • A cultural mindset that values sustainability, energy efficiency, and environmental stewardship.
  • Compliance with Local Regulations – ensuring that the project complies with local legal and regulatory requirements related to energy, data privacy, and infrastructure development.
  • Stakeholder Collaboration – strong partnerships among local government, businesses, academia, and community organisations to support the project’s implementation.

This answer is not exhaustive and simply an indicative one.

What does the city want to learn from Twin City/ies?

  • Advanced Digital Solutions for Energy Management: To explore cutting-edge digital technologies and tools for optimising energy consumption.
  • Leveraging Renewable Energy Potential: To explore methods for assessing and maximising local renewable energy resources, particularly solar power.
  • Best Practices in Community Engagement and Participation: To understand effective strategies for engaging diverse community groups in sustainability initiatives.
  • Effective Policy Frameworks for Decarbonisation: To examine policy measures and regulatory frameworks that support decarbonisation and sustainable energy practices.
  • Financing Models for Sustainable Energy Projects: To identify viable financing mechanisms and funding strategies for sustainability projects.

This answer is not exhaustive and simply an indicative one.