ConnectHeat: Empowering Communities through Training and Knowledge Sharing

The ConnectHeat project adopts a self-sustaining cascading effect approach in its training program about heating and cooling (H&C) community energies.

ConnectHeat: Empowering Communities through Training and Knowledge Sharing

The training activities span three essential levels, aiming to equip project partners, target areas, and other relevant stakeholders at the EU level with the skills and knowledge needed for efficient and holistic planning and development of sustainable H&C community energy solutions.

As part of the capacity-building initiative, the ConnectHeat project conducts a series of six ‘Train the Trainers’ sessions, five of which have been held already. These sessions, focused on key factors for community energy development, were carefully tailored to enhance skills and promote knowledge transfer.

All five sessions have been recorded and made available in the Training Toolbox on the ConnectHeat project’s website, along with supplementary materials. These resources provide knowledge and insights into thermal communities development.

Let’s delve into the specifics of each session:

1. Local Communities and Stakeholder Engagement:

The first session focused on effective strategies for decarbonizing H&C systems through active engagement with local communities and stakeholders. Participants gained insights into engaging communities in the transition to sustainable energy practices, shared experiences, discussed technical support, and addressed planning considerations for establishing energy communities.

2. Technological Framework:

This session explored various technologies contributing to decarbonizing H&C systems, emphasizing biomass, solar energy solutions, and heat pump devices. Participants delved into the functionality, benefits, and potential applications of these technologies, fostering a deeper understanding of their role in achieving sustainable and efficient H&C solutions.

3. Legal and Organizational Framework:

Delving into the legal and organizational aspects of setting up and managing energy communities, this session provided insights into the process of establishing and operating community energy solutions. It focused on the EU’s definition of energy communities, implementation of related policies at the national level, and legal considerations surrounding heat pumps and district heating and cooling (DHC) systems.

4. Financial Tools and Business Models:

The session explored various financial tools and business models facilitating the transition to sustainable H&C systems. Topics included crowdfunding for DHC projects, alternative financing schemes, and innovative policies on financing the energy transition. The aim was to provide valuable insights into the financial aspects of the energy transition, fostering discussions on innovative business models and financial tools.

5. Non-Financial Cost/Benefit Analysis:

This session went beyond financial aspects, examining broader impacts and considerations associated with decarbonizing H&C systems. It explored socioeconomic benefits, community well-being, environmental and health implications, and discussed different models and approaches used in the transition to decarbonized systems.

6. Detailed Analysis of Real-Life Example:

Participants in this session had the unique opportunity to learn about barriers, enablers, and lessons learned from a real-life example, including an on-site visit.

To further promote these recordings, the project encourages stakeholders, industry professionals, and enthusiasts to explore the wealth of information available and engage with the ConnectHeat community. By doing so, we can collectively contribute to the widespread adoption of sustainable heating and cooling solutions, fostering a positive impact on communities and the environment alike.