CSSC Lab: A new INTERREG initiative demonstrating the importance of Sector Coupling and Energy Storage
City Storage and Sector Coupling Lab
The latest call for Interreg Danube projects was highly contested – 270 project proposals submitted. UBBSLA is a national partner in one of the 25 approved projects and the cluster member company “3K Ltd.” is an associated project partner. The project CSSC Lab – City Storage and Sector Coupling Lab, launched in July 2020, will end in December 2022. The consortium consists of 17 partners from almost all Danube countries.
The European Union has ambitious plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. This begs for the testing and adoption of innovative solutions for energy production, consumption, management and storage. CSSC Lab – a new INTERREG project, will support the testing of Sector Coupling and Energy Storage approaches in Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovenia.
The main hurdle currently being faced in increasing the usage of renewable energy sources is better connecting energy consumption and storage. Renewable energy sources are key to achieving the EU’s climate goals but pose a substantial challenge since they are variable. This means that the provision of solar and wind energy heavily depends on the time of day, the season and the weather. New, innovative storage solutions are needed to make sure that the energy produced by renewables can be stored and utilized when needed.
Sector coupling approaches serve to build a bridge between energy consumption on one hand and energy storage on the other. Their potential is also recognized at EU level, with a clear strategy being formulated by the European Commission (EU Strategy for Energy System Integration, EC, July 2020) on this topic. Nevertheless, there continues to be a lack of awareness on the importance of sector coupling at the municipal and city level, which are essential components in an integrated energy system.
In its 2019 study entitled “Potentials of sector coupling for decarbonization“, the European Commission recommends launching sector coupling pilot demonstration projects as a means of raising awareness at municipal and city level. CSSC Lab strives to follow this recommendation by launching different test sites. “Our project is exceptional in that we build specific technologies in four partner regions, Croatia, Austria, Slovenia and Bulgaria. These investments will then serve as a demonstration for representatives of municipalities, cities and potential investors and they feature various solutions for energy production, storage, utilization and management,” says the CSSC Lab project Deputy Lead Partner Hrvoje Maras.
Hrvoje Maras and his colleague Marko Čavar represent the North-West Croatia Regional Energy Agency (REGEA), which has succeeded in bringing together 17 partners from 11 countries and has successfully submitted an application to the Danube Transnational Programme, which will support this three-year operation financially.
“However, the CSSC Lab will not be limited to the presentation of technologies. We will prepare a model solution and assessment toolkit for typical urban use cases, develop/pilot a capacity building scheme for municipalities with local trainings, webinars and city coaching sessions, set up an online learning platform for sustainable knowledge transfer and replication of solutions for other cities,” adds Project Executor, Marko Čavar.
The project will run for a total of 30 months and will end in December 2022.
Attached photo credit: © Pichler & Traupmann Architekten | Rendering: Patricia Bagienski
About CSSC Lab
CSSC Lab is an initiative implemented by 17 partners in11 countries, aiming to accelerate the up-take of CSSC solutions in Danube region cities. At present, there are few sector coupling initiatives because public authorities possess little knowledge on the subject tend shy away from the associated investment risks. To overcome these barriers, the CSSC Lab project plans to conduct a capacity building programme for municipalities and to demonstrate the viability of CSSC solutions for medium-sized and smaller cities in the Danube region.