The energy and climate targets of the EU require the transformation of neighborhoods to net-zero energy districts. The report “From nearly-zero energy buildings to net-zero energy districts” reviews and analyses existing EU projects from seven municipalities:

  1. Hvar (Croatian Island)
  2. Val-de-Ruz (Switzerland)
  3. Helsingor (Denmark)
  4. Valby (Denmark)
  5. Cloughjordan (Ireland)
  6. Salzburg (Austria) and
  7. Zaragoza (Spain).

These municipalities set ambitious targets to reduce their energy demand. Furthermore, they increase the share of their energy supply from local renewable energy sources.

Hvar and Val-de-Ruz have set a target to be self-sufficient. Hvar aims at meeting its self-sufficiency target to be 20% by 2020 while Val-de-Ruz aims to be totally self-sufficient by 2030.

Similarly, the municipality of Helsingor, which aims for carbon neutrality by 2050. Cloughjordan aimed at building an eco-village in a rural area. Salzburg in Austria developed a 2050 smart-city-roadmap. Valby in Denmark set a renewable energy target. The municipality of Zaragoza in Spain developed and implemented a holistic bioclimatic design at neighborhood level.

An important finding is the emergence of new actors and the innovative governance structures. They are established by municipalities ensuring that necessary actors are involved, and the use of modern technologies, such as smart meters, smart communication tools, social media platform, 3D-Scanning and Building Information Models – BIM etc. In all the cases, public finance (EU and national) has been essential in unleashing the transition to net-zero energy districts.


SAHEB Yamina


PACI Daniele

Download the report here

Source: Publications Office of the European Union