Key issues on data sharing for sustainable energy in the territories

Data4Action aims to mobilize energy data providers and public authorities in the project partners’ regions to set energy data exchange collaboration models that support the implementation and monitoring of sustainable energy action plans (SEAPs). The first phase of the project included the exploration of ways to improve public authorities’ access to energy data in this context.

Regional roundtables have been the starting point for reviewing public authorities’ data needs and constraints for sharing these data. Partners have examined their regional frameworks analyzing the availability of local and accurate energy data for SEAPs, identifying the key stakeholders that may provide or facilitate access to data and the driving forces for engaging data providers or issues that may be perceived as critical by the stakeholders, such as quality of data, commercial sensitivity or privacy.
Partners have reported their findings in the detailed reports “Key issues about data sharing for sustainable energy” that are available for local stakeholders. These reports aim to establish the basis for the work that the partners will carry out in the project, providing the information that will be used to help energy facilitators to understand the data needs in their countries and municipalities to be aware of data needs and identify data sources in the subsequent project work.
Summaries of the regional reports have been prepared in order to help better understanding the general European picture in this subject and identifying common issues that will be useful for regional authorities, energy agencies or other stakeholders that support local authorities in their efforts to plan action in sustainable energy and greenhouse gas emission reduction. The present report collects and summarizes the factsheets prepared for each participant region.
The regional factsheets provided in the table below have a similar structure, offering details about the type of information that project partners have planned to provide local authorities, the availability of information sources, the main problems to overcome for accessing and sharing information and the proposed solutions.
Download the summary of key issues & local needs

RegionKey issues about data sharing for sustainable energy action plans
Rhône-AlpesEnergy data sharing practice in the region of Rhône-Alpes is well developed. However, there is margin for improvement, for example relating the biomass produced and the biomass converted to energy, since data is often dispersed in various small organizations.
Among the objectives for the regional and environment energy agency RAEE within Data4Action is to develop a “Sankey diagram” with the data provided by the local partners, helping to visualize the biomass material and energy flows from forest to final use.
Kent RegionSome of the key interests of the Kent region regarding energy data relate to national targets on reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and uptake of renewable sources of energy, which form part of a transition toward a low carbon society.
Data4Action is enabling KCC to address gaps in knowledge where supporting evidenced based decisions is needed, for example around the energy consumption and generation profile.
The latest revised version of the Kent Environment Strategy builds on previous work and raises as a priority the need to centrally collate an evidence base of data and information that can be used to develop and influence policy, projects and actions in a focused and pragmatic approach.
The key objective of the project for the county of Kent is to establish a central data and intelligence observatory (hub) that will underpin and support evidence based decision making, policy and project development for the county across environment and related energy, health and economic outcomes.
Zlín RegionThe regional energy agency EAZK is about to improve the energy data sharing in the Zlín region with the creation of an energy observatory. The main problems to solve are the limited interest in the Covenant of Mayors (COM) initiative (currently only 5 municipalities have signed the COM in the Czech Republic, none of them in the Zlín region) and the unavailable or low quality data from some data providers.
The creation of a data center will improve the access to energy data at regional and local level, so that the Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) monitoring becomes easier helping to promote sustainable energy and the COM.
LiguriaWithin Data4Action, the regional energy agency IRE SpA is developing an application for the Regional Observatory of Liguria Region (SIRAL) to improve the reliability of the energy data at municipal level and to automatically create the inventories required for the monitoring of the Covenant of Mayors SEAPs. Another objective is to improve the quality of the data, in particular of the RES sector, involving associations of sellers of RES technologies and products.
IRE will tackle Liguria region’s main problems in the data collection process which are the weakness of information in some sector, the lack of obligations in force for utilities and operators, and finally the lack of financial resources to update the regional observatory.
Nord-Pas de CalaisThe region of Nord-Pas de Calais is one of the 5 founding members of the Regional Climate Observatory created in November 2012 and collaborates with all municipalities from the region interested in sharing data. 17 territories of Nord-Pas de Calais (85% of the regional population) are committed in a local SEAP and the observatory provides them with data at the regional and municipal level, in order to establish their baseline emission inventory or to follow up their action plan.
Availability of energy data at a small scale (municipality or even neighbourhood) is crucial to target and monitor the actions of SEAPs. Developing approaches using data from various themes (energy consumption, GHG emissions, socio-economic data, and housing data) at a small scale is decisive to improve the efficiency of SEAPs’ actions and improve energy planning considering all energy types.
NorrbottenIn Northern Sweden an energy and GHG observatory tool is already working, the “Energy Loupe”. This free online tool provides local and regional authorities as well as energy experts with reliable local and regional energy data. The observatory is coordinated by the regional energy agency Nenet to support local authorities in developing and implementing SEAPs, including the elaboration of BEIs and MEIs.
Additional work is needed to extend the technical capacities of the observatory and to establish additional partnership agreements with data providers. Technical assistance to municipalities is also needed for data collection for SEAP monitoring activities. Working closer with the municipalities and inform and educate about the “Energy Loupe” is part of the solution too.
RomaniaData collection in Romania is a difficult process hindered by several issues: the lack of detailed energy consumption databases, the insufficient training of technical staff, the quality/reliability of energy data and data confidentiality.
This given situation is faced by bringing together the stakeholders working in this field and offering existing win-win collaboration models in the framework of the first Regional Energy Observatory that is being set up in Romania by Alba Local Energy Agency (ALEA). Also great emphasis should be given to the information campaigns and the continuous assistance to the data users.
Basque CountryThe objective of Data4Action in the Basque Country is to develop further the existing Local Sustainability Observatory in order to collect and estimate more precise and complete energy information at municipal level and to be the basic tool for monitoring action in COM and LA21 providing more efficient services to municipalities. The regional energy and environmental agencies EVE and Ihobe are collaborating in the project.
Some critical issues to overcome are the difficulties to monitor the energy use in their own municipal facilities, the lack of technical capacities and the low confidence in some estimates of energy use, e.g. in the transport sector. Working closer with gas and electricity distribution companies to facilitate the access to the information and improving the tools used for information management are the main results expected for the project.
Metropolitan city of TorinoThe Metropolitan City of Torino is engaged since many years in collecting energy data and drafting energy balance and, thanks to it’s activity as territorial coordinator of the Covenant of Mayor (COM), this initiative is widespread in the metropolitan area. Anyway, the formal constitution of an energy observatory has been necessary to improve all the activities and respond to some specific needs as: the building up of a regional shared data system, the overcoming of some deficiencies in the availability of data at local level, the strengthening of the support given to local authorities.
Several problems hinder accomplishing these objectives i.e. lack of technical skills and energy data collection in municipalities, poor information at local level on thermal renewable sources, difficulties to get information from the National Institution and the lack of obligations for data providers in energy data sharing with public authorities.
Plovdiv RegionThe Energy Agency of Plovdiv has established the Regional Observatory for Energy, Environment and Climate (ROEEC) in the South Central and South East Region of Bulgaria with the aim to support local authorities in the development, monitoring and evaluation of local actions dedicated to the European 20-20-20 target and other national targets.
The ROEEC will address the barriers to obtain the energy data needed for the municipal strategies operating in two levels – the one being a virtual ROEEC that will serve the municipalities to structure and store their data related to energy, environment and climate; and second, as a “living” observatory with EAP experts to process and analyze data. These aspects will be supported by promotion and dissemination activities to the various stakeholders – local authorities, institutions, municipal experts, wide public, etc.
However, there are obstacles to overcome such as the strict data protection regulations in Bulgaria, the lack of coordination structures, the need for improvement of technical skills in some sectors or the reluctance of institutions to collaborate.
Carlow and Kilkenny CountiesThe Carlow Kilkenny Energy Agency (CKEA) is acting as the regional facilitator for the Regional Energy Observatory. CKEA has commitment from both Carlow County Council and Kilkenny County Council with regards to provision of energy data for the observatory. During the course of the project, CKEA will be establishing a Regional Energy Observatory that will operate under the website
This website will facilitate stakeholders (local authorities, SMEs, utilities and interested bodies) to have access to accurate regional energy data.
Both Carlow County Council and Kilkenny County Council have signed the CoM. The provision of an accurate baseline for CO2 emissions and the monitoring of the action plan are requirements of the CoM that will be enabled through the creation of the observatory.
GreeceThe Covenant of Mayors initiative is gaining momentum in Greece and as a result an increasing number of local authorities need local energy data for energy planning. Currently there are no national or regional observatories, energy agencies or other public bodies in Greece that provide local energy data to municipalities. Energy data providers are not legally obliged to collaborate with such public bodies or local authorities to provide energy data, unless this relates to “own consumption data”. Thus, energy data sharing is not an established practice.
The Data4Action observatory in Greece, which will be integrated within the Technical Chamber of Greece’s structure, will pursue energy stakeholders’ collaboration to facilitate data exchange and assist municipalities in developing and monitoring Sustainable Energy Action Plans.
Key issues on data sharing for sustainable energy in the territories

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