City end-user : BOLOGNA (Italy)

Bologna is the other Italian city involved in CitInES project. It has 400,000 inhabitants.


The main expectations for Bologna were:

  •  Use an advanced decision-support tool to implement and update the current SEAP process.
  • Improve their ability to represent their energy system for a deeper understanding of the impact of actions as well as for dissemination purposes.
  • Automatize the treatment of the numerous databases of bologna related to energy subjects

The City of Bologna signed the Covenant of Mayors in December 2008. The first version of the SEAP was released in May 2012. A dedicated working group for the SEAP design was established involving 11 sectors and “Environment and Energy” handled a coordination role.

Based on a 2005 picture of the energy situation of the territory, an exhaustive list of actions already implemented or to be implemented up to 2020 has been established. A very thorough monitoring process, based on excel files, has been defined. The Environment and Energy sector of Bologna is supported by Ervet and an external consulting company in the whole SEAP elaboration and monitoring work.

Ensuring the maintenance of the energy database and of the SEAP process through time is the key expectation of Bologna.


The first aim of the experimentation was to test and assess the Crystal City tool regarding the previously identified expectations of the municipality of Bologna. This tool was expected to reduce the risks and complexity of SEAP management by helping the city to improve and update its ongoing process and to treat collected data for the assessment of the energy state of the territory.

The experimentation took place in three phases:  the configuration allowed to adapt the tool to the data and methodology of Bologna, before its use was experimented by the city.

The configuration of the tool, lead from June to December, consisted in:

  • The configuration of a first model of the city energy system consisting in a snapshot of the city’s situation in 2010, based on data provided by Bologna.
  • The configuration of a second model more adapted to the modeling methodology used in the current tools of SEAP design and monitoring. The new context consisted in a snapshot of the city’s situation in 2005 and 2009, basis years for the SEAP, and a set of implemented energy actions following the same methodology as the one of the city. A first treatment of taxes data to provide information regarding energy balance was also experimented.

The methodology used to follow the SEAP and the city energy balance was thus integrated into the software to build a complete model of the energy state and SEAP process. Specific indicators to assess the current situation, the advancement and impacts of the SEAP actions were also integrated.

The last phase of experimentation, covering the main aspects of Bologna’s SEAP management process, allowed to test the tool and city energy model through the monitoring of effective SEAP advancement and CO2 assessment, the update of SEAP and energy balance and the experimentation of communications features.

This last phase was mainly lead through a workshop during which Bologna confirmed the interest of the Crystal City software as an advanced decision support software to:

  • Improve cities trajectory up to 2020 by increasing their ability to fully master the stakes and implementation of the SEAP.
  • Improve SEAP process efficiency by rationalizing SEAP process, thus making it more comfortable to lead.
  • Increase the involvement of stakeholders through didactic representations of the local energy system and of the actions.


“The model is very good regarding consumption, production and supply modeling. Compared to our previous SEAP management process, the tool eases the organization of the data modeling [and] actions.”

“The software is a good support to create “standard template” for exchange between services.”

“The tool improves our analysis capacity: it is very interesting to be able to see whether the effect of the actions is as expected [and] to be able to have an idea of the evolution of the city (new buildings, new consumers,…).”



The experimentation lead in Bologna proved the simplification of the SEAP management process brought by the tool built in the CitInES project through the three benefits mentioned above. Crystal City has the potential to make SEAP management more comfortable to lead, therefore reducing the risks linked to this long lasting and demanding process.  However, converting this risk reduction into a quantitative estimation of CO2 emission savings is not direct.


The CO2 gained thanks to the CitInES project was evaluated in the case of Cesena at around 10% of the CO2 emissions level of 2010. The case of Bologna cannot be exactly similar to the one of Cesena. Nonetheless, if we estimate the impact of the CitInES project is half as important for Bologna as it was for Cesena (as the SEAP management process is more advanced for Bologna, process optimization may be lower), the CO2 emissions gained thanks to the benefits of the software described above would be of 5% of the CO2 emissions of the reference year of the SEAP. In that case, it would mean a CO2 emission reduction of 115.800 tons/year.

Map view of the city of Bologna in the tool, representation on consumption, production and transportation








Map view of the city of Bologna in the tool, representation on consumption, production and transportation



 Experimentation & Results of CESENA