Funding Initiative Solar Construction/Energy-Efficient Towns In Germany, about 75 % of the population live in towns. Towns and neighbourhoods therefore represent special habitats for living, economic activities, and culture. Therefore they require sustainable and energy-efficient energy systems. The housing sector is particularly relevant for energy efficiency improvements. In Germany, residential and non-residential buildings account for about 35 % of the overall energy consumption, with roughly three quarters coming from heating. This is the motivation for the Funding Initiative Solar Construction/Energy-Efficient Towns. The funding of research, development, and demonstration promotes the transformation of the energy sector (Energiewende) and in particular a major transformation of the heating systems used in buildings and neighbourhoods.
The module Energy-Efficient Towns from the joint call for applications by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy funds comprehensive and systemic lighthouse projects in urban neighbourhoods. An innovative, energy-optimized, and sustainable neighbourhood which can practically dispense with fossil fuels due to energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies can only be realized by systemic, trans-disciplinary approaches.
60 proposals were received under the funding initiative, six of which have been chosen for funding. The QUARREE100 project is one of these six so-called lighthouse projects.
The program sponsors are aware of the obstacles to overcome: beside tough technical challenges it is the bulk of legal framework to be created which causes worries. Furthermore economic concepts must be drawn up. Last not least all actors affected must be involved in the implementation process so as to achieve the highest possible degree of understanding and acceptance.
These lighthouse projects take the form of living labs and comprehensive neighbourhood projects. They address overall energy concepts from scratch to implementation and from experts down to ordinary citizens. Only comprehensive changes will set off and give a boost to the contributions of the towns to the Energiewende. These changes are to be initiated, prepared and monitored on site by the above stated personnel in close cooperation.
Essential aspects to be agreed on are: reduction of energy consumption, sector coupling, and gradual decarbonization of the entire system by the integration of renewable energies. The aim is to develop visionary and feasible institutional strategies facilitating a long-term and sustainable urban development.