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INFINITE – Innovative Financing Models for Sustainable Urban Energy Systems

Research field: Urban Transformations Towards Sustainability: A Law and Governance Perspective

Our work on the multidisciplinary INFINITE project, which is funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) started in October 2016. Sustainable urban energy supply systems are an essential component for sustainable urban areas. Within the frame of the INFINITE-project the characteristics of sustainable urban energy supplies are the application of local supply units, the use of local renewable energy sources and the distribution across buildings. However, the complexity of such projects and a lack of existing financing models make the realisation of large-scale sustainable urban energy supplies difficult. The project deals with heat supply of new buildings with a high share of renewable energies, which are produced on site and delivered across buildings. Sustainable ("decarbonized") energy supply solutions for entire urban development areas often fail due to the high investment costs with long planning horizons for renewable energy systems. Large-scale projects are also extremely complex due to the large number of actors involved. Thus, INFINITE analyses the framework and identifies criteria for the successful establishment of project corporations as a means of funding urban heat supply solutions based on renewable energies. The project contrasts project corporations with other financing solutions and analyses the advantages and limits of project corporations as alternative financing solutions. Moreover, the project analyses the organisational and legal framework for the establishment of such a vehicle and deals with the question whether an accompanying stakeholder process is necessary and which factors promote the founding of a project corporation.

WU Project Lead: Univ.Prof. Dr. Verena Madner

Partners: e7 Energie Markt Analyse GmbH (overall project management), Energetic Solutions, TINA Vienna GmbH, GBV – Österreichischer Verband gemeinnütziger Bauvereinigungen

Funding: Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG)

Duration: 01.10.2016 - 31.03.2018