Identifying and prioritizing barriers to implementation of smart energy city projects in Europe: An empirical approach
Di Nucci M
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Successful implementation of smart energy city projects in Europe is crucial for a sustainable transition of urban energy systems and the improvement of quality of life for citizens. We aim to develop a systematic classification and analysis of the barriers hindering successful implementation of smart energy city projects. Through an empirical approach, we investigated 43 communities implementing smart and sustainable energy city projects under the Sixth and Seventh Framework Programmes of the European Union. Validated through literature review, we identified 35 barriers categorized in policy, administrative, legal, financial, market, environmental, technical, social, and information-and-awareness dimensions. We prioritized these barriers, using a novel multi-dimensional methodology that simultaneously analyses barriers based on frequency, level of impact, causal relationship among barriers, origin, and scale. The results indicate that the key barriers are lacking or fragmented political support on the long term at the policy level, and lack of good cooperation and acceptance among project partners, insufficient external financial support, lack of skilled and trained personnel, and fragmented ownership at the project level. The outcome of the research should aid policy-makers to better understand and prioritize implementation barriers to develop effective action and policy interventions towards more successful implementation of smart energy city projects.