The Project

Safire is part-funded under the EC's Fifth Framework Programme
SAFIRE-LP's primary objective
is to develop a new version of the key E3 (economy-environment-energy) European Commission financed SAFIRE model, so that it is dedicated for use as a local sustainable energy-planning tool, designed by the potential users, is user-friendly, transparent, and cost effective.

In order to achieve the objective, the SAFIRE-LP project has three main tasks, to:

• develop the SAFIRE model to a user-defined, dedicated and value-for-money local energy-planning tool, which is easy to use, transparent and can be installed on a common platform

• undertake case studies in three Accession to test the new version of SAFIRE-LP through a process of "learning by doing" (Lithuania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia)

• review the potential to extrapolate the widespread use of SAFIRE within each case study country plus Bulgaria and Poland

SAFIRE-LP is a modelling tool, designed by local government for local government. This innovative approach is ensuring that the final product meets the requirements of the user and can be used after the duration of the project.

 - Project Start November 2002
 - SAFIRE-LP model completed January 2004
 - Case studies started February 2004
 - Project completion May 2004

SAFIRE-LP model Development

To date, the SAFIRE model has been successfully used for local sustainable energy planning in Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and the United Kingdom. The experiences gained from using SAFIRE at a local level have shown the importance of redeveloping the model. The main tasks therefore set up for creating a new version of SAFIRE consist of six specific areas of focus, which are to:

 • amend the data requirements and methodology to focus on local energy planning
 • introduce a new spatial planning module to SAFIRE
 • redesign the user interface
 • redesign the model outputs to produce the outputs in a format specified by potential users
 • re-programme SAFIRE to run on new software, allowing simple and widespread installation
 • translate SAFIRE-LP into three new languages (Lithuanian, Slovak, Slovenian) for the three case study participants (in addition to the current English, Portuguese, Polish and Bulgarian versions)

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Case Studies

The case studies will test the success of the new SAFIRE-LP model and the acceptability and usability of SAFIRE-LP as a local energy planning tool.
Three municipalities in Lithuania, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia will install the translated version of SAFIRE-LP, receive SAFIRE-LP and local sustainable energy planning (LSEP) training, and perform the full test of SAFIRE-LP. As part of the training module, the municipalities will also receive technical and information support from their counterpart partner (Poland-Lithuania, Bulgaria-Slovenia, Austria-Slovak Republic), the relevant National Association and the modelling team (see Project Team page for more details). The municipalities will then use SAFIRE-LP to help them perform assessments on the potential for sustainable energy and to identify priority areas for the deployment of sustainable energy in the municipality. This will feed directly into the planning process.

The case studies and SAFIRE training programme are currently being prepared in advance of the start of this phase of the project in January 2004. More details of the training process will be provided in the future.


National Extrapolation

In conjunction with the national municipality associations, this phase of the project will review the success of SAFIRE-LP as a tool to use for local sustainable energy planning across Europe. Having been tested in the three municipalities, and reviewed in Bulgaria and Poland, the team will assess the suitability of the new version of SAFIRE-LP for local sustainable energy planning. Any further recommendations or improvements will be assessed for future integration into SAFIRE-LP.

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