Innovation Fund

CNCA Innovation Fund

The CNCA Innovation Fund was created in 2015 to invest in high-potential, city-led projects that develop, test, implement and amplify deep decarbonization strategies and practices. To date, the Alliance has invested $2.4 million in 27 early-stage innovation projects targeting transportation, energy-supply, buildings, and waste systems. These projects endeavor to accelerate deep decarbonization around the world by showing the "art of the possible" in urban climate change.

The Thermal Break Shear Wall: Simultaneous energy efficiency and seismic resiliency improvements in standard housing stock tile-image

The Thermal Break Shear Wall: Simultaneous energy efficiency and seismic resiliency improvements in standard housing stock

City Lead: Portland OR
Year: 2017

This project implemented dual energy efficiency and seismic resiliency improvements in standard housing stock project, testing a method to improve the energy efficiency and seismic resiliency in older housing stock by trying the use of an emerging approach to wall assemblies. A report detailing the project from start to finish is posted here.

Outputs:

Bringing Renewable Thermal Solutions to Scale in New England tile-image

Bringing Renewable Thermal Solutions to Scale in New England

City Lead: Boston
Year: 2017

This project developed and implemented pilot programs designed to expand the early adoption of renewable thermal in the existing residential building stock in New England. It created market analysis and campaign design methodologies, and summarized campaign findings so other cities can use lessons learned as they follow suit.

Outputs:

RealIZE: Bringing the clean industrial revolution to existing residential buildings tile-image

RealIZE: Bringing the clean industrial revolution to existing residential buildings

City Lead: San Francisco
Year: 2017

This project examined market barriers to a business model that brings the “Energiesprong” program from the Netherlands to San Francisco. Varying market conditions in San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area will determine REALIZE’s approach to successfully facilitate the development of a mass scale energy retrofit market. Categorizing properties by market conditions will allow REALIZE to target Low Income Housing Tax Credit affordable properties that present minimal barriers to entry, while continuing to improve market conditions for future market segments. Products contain work completed to gain insight into market conditions, barriers, and solutions in an effort to advance REALIZE technical solutions at a rapid rate through a robust to-go-market strategy.

Outputs:

Accelerating the Transition to 4th Generation District Heating Systems tile-image

Accelerating the Transition to 4th Generation District Heating Systems

Lead City: Sydney
Funded in 2016

This project examined two fundamental aspects of the transition to 4th Generation District Heating Networks designed to enable a more cost effective transition away from fossil fuels to a future heat supply that is from local renewable, environmental and waste heat sources.

Outputs:

 

Food and Energy in a Circular Economy tile-image

Food and Energy in a Circular Economy

City Lead: Stockholm
Year: 2017

Stockholm Royal Seaport is appointed the next generation sustainable city districts with ambitious environmental goals including resource efficiency and becoming climate positive (according to the Climate Positive Development Program framework). One of the areas subject to investigations has been wastewater management. This project, led by Stockholm, delivers a feasibility study describing the potential and scenarios of source separating wastewater systems for dense urban areas.

Outputs:

Renewable Heating & Cooling: Thermal Decarbonization of Residential Buildings tile-image

Renewable Heating & Cooling: Thermal Decarbonization of Residential Buildings

City Lead: Boulder
Year: 2018

This guide provides options and actionable steps for other cities interested in completing similar analyses to guide the development of approaches to transitioning away from fossil fuel-based heating. In particular, this guide discusses key steps and best practices to: (1) Establish goals and parameters for a thermal decarbonization initiative within the local context; (2) Identify and collect data from publicly-available data sources; (3) Conduct a market analysis of the local building stock; and (4) Leverage market analysis to engage key stakeholders and develop policies and programs for scaling the local RH&C market.

Outputs:

 

Accelerating Net-Zero High-Rise Residential Buildings tile-image

Accelerating Net-Zero High-Rise Residential Buildings

City leader: Sydney
Year: 2016

A report to examine the technical and economic feasibility of moving towards net-zero high-rise residential buildings in Australia and identifies pathways to accelerate their commercialization. It is designed to inspire Federal and State Government policy makers and the development industry to move rapidly toward buildings that go well beyond current requirements of BASIX (NSW) and the National Construction Code. Accompanying documents include an article describing the importance of the work, and a presentation providing an overview of the work.

Outputs:

Upscaling Green Vehicles tile-image

Upscaling Green Vehicles

City lead: Copenhagen
Year: 2016

This synthesis report focuses on the potential for promoting “green vehicles” in Northern Europe benefitting climate, health and well-being as well as the quality of our air. It highlights the main observations, exchanges and recommendations identified over the two days of the workshop called: “Upscaling Green Vehicles in Northern Europe” arranged in Copenhagen as part of the CNCA meeting. The workshop initiative presents an opportunity for new collaborative projects between CNCA cities, car industry companies, energy companies, interest groups, and mobility operators with a clear interest in promoting green vehicles.

Outputs:

New Financial and Delivery Models for Retrofitting Buildings tile-image

New Financial and Delivery Models for Retrofitting Buildings

City Lead: London
Year: 2016

 This project provides a detailed assessment of the extent to which the energiesprong retrofitting model is transferable to London, through the development of a robust business case and barriers report. The report assesses the level of ‘transferability’ of each of the key energiesprong pillars and, on the basis of this, identifies the practical steps needed to deliver the model in London.

Outputs:

 

Natural Gas, Fuel Oil & Related Thermal Energy De-Carbonization Strategies tile-image

Natural Gas, Fuel Oil & Related Thermal Energy De-Carbonization Strategies

City Leads: Boulder and San Francisco
Year: 2016

A project to develop strategies for decarbonizing thermal energy systems in different building types in two cities: residential and commercial/light industrial buildings in Boulder and municipal buildings in San Francisco.

Outputs:

Energy Systems Transformation Framework tile-image

Energy Systems Transformation Framework

City Leads: Boulder, Boston, Minneapolis, Portland OR, San Francisco, and Seattle
Year: 2016

A framework to develop a shared vocabulary, understanding and vision for how municipalities can develop a community-wide energy planning and management system that supports a transformation of their energy systems from a fossil fuel base to 100% renewable energy.

Outputs:

Integrated Whole Energy System Decarbonization Strategy tile-image

Integrated Whole Energy System Decarbonization Strategy

City Leads: Boulder, Seattle, and Minneapolis
Year: 2016

A project to develop a strategy for transitioning to district-scale low-carbon energy systems in three communities in Boulder, Seattle and Minneapolis.

Outputs:

Deep Carbon Reductions in the Transport Sector – Impacts on Affordability and Displacement tile-image

Deep Carbon Reductions in the Transport Sector – Impacts on Affordability and Displacement

City Lead: Portland OR
Year: 2016

A project that addressed issues of displacement and gentrification through research and policy development, using Portland, OR as a test case.

Outputs:

  • A Summary of Household Research in the Powell-Division Corridor
  • Transit-Oriented Development and Gentrification Literature Review
  • Rental Properties Typology Report
  • A Memo on Population Change
  • An Emissions Summary
Carbon Neutral Buildings – Accelerating Market Transformation to High Performing Building Envelopes in North American Cities tile-image

Carbon Neutral Buildings – Accelerating Market Transformation to High Performing Building Envelopes in North American Cities

City Lead: Vancouver
Year: 2016

A project that leveraged demonstrated European success in significantly reducing energy use through improved building envelope performance and collaboration between cities in order to accelerate the market transformation towards carbon neutral buildings in North America.

Outputs:

A Blueprint for Development Approval of Hydrogen Re-fueling Stations tile-image

A Blueprint for Development Approval of Hydrogen Re-fueling Stations

City Lead: Sydney
Year: 2016

The Blueprint, presented in the main body of this report, is organized as a standalone document describing (1) the key activities involved in the process of developing hydrogen refueling stations, (2) the roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders involved, and (3) a detailed stage-gate process describing all the key activities to be undertaken at each stage of the licensing and permitting process – from pre-application to issue of a final occupancy permit and operational license, and opening of the facility for public use – with detailed activity checklists for both HRS Developers, and Planning Authorities. Technical Appendices are provided to complement the Blueprint and provide project developers with a comprehensive knowledge base on technologies, standards and regulations, which includes case studies of hydrogen refueling stations in Europe, Japan and the United States.

Outputs: