Driving innovation in heating technology in Oslo schools, Norway
Oslo City Council decided in January 2008 that fossil fuel use in Oslo’s schools should be phased out by the end of 2011. In January 2009, the city started to look for alternatives: renewable, optimal and innovative solutions for substituting fossil fuels. The challenge was to assess what the market could deliver as innovative solutions, as experiences with existing products and solutions were poor.
The city of Oslo identified the challenge and formulated some suggestions on how the market could possibly contribute to solving it. It invited stakeholders to a dialogue conference to find the best alternatives to fossil fuels in the heating of schools. Through the dialogue conference the city gained a lot of useful information, which was then applied in preparing a tender for heating solutions for use in Oslo’s schools. The tender process also began with a workshop for suppliers, where the tender documents were presented and the different suppliers could discuss joint solutions.
Twelve proposals were submitted to the tender competition. The evaluation criteria included, amongst others, life cycle cost, management reliability, degree of innovation and the transferability of the suggested solution to different schools. Four winners were selected offering solutions involving biogas, solid biofuel, heat pumps and solar energy as well as process innovation.The city was very satisfied with the result: the competition came up with many solutions that were not available on the market before the process started. Up to then, for example, biogas had been mainly available for vehicles only. The innovation related to heat pump technology has now been commercialised by the developer, providing a solution for optimising the use of different energy sources and storing heat. The procurement clearly created a new push for the market to innovate new heating solutions.
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