iENERGY 2.0 Weiz-Gleisdorf

Weiz-Gleisdorf is a rapidly growing urban region with the major cities of Weiz and Gleisdorf. It is situated around 20 kilometers east of the city of Graz and has got 45.400 inhabitants. There are the typical challenges of a growing region (increasing energy consumption, urban sprawl, specifically high costs of infrastructure and local services etc.) and, due to a short distance from Graz, the special "problem of commuters" in motorized private transport.

To ensure a sustainable development of the urban region, as a first step, an energy vision “Weiz-Gleisdorf 2050” was developed in the project before. It is based on a scenario analysis involving all of the regional stakeholders. The aspired development of the region towards “zero emission” signifies a change of people’s views on all levels – especially with a view to the underlying systems for economy, traffic and energy as well as a change of their behavioral patterns and lifestyles. The need for sustainable systems is clear considering limited resources and is thus generally accepted – but the question remains when this change will occur and which financial resources to use?

Contents and objectives

The aim of this project is the visual anticipation of this vision in form of single demonstration projects, i.e. public visualization of visionary complete energetic solutions within the context of “Smart Cities” or “Smart Urban Regions”, renewable energy, energy efficiency and regional energetic autonomy.

Multiple demonstration projects were implemented within this project in the demonstration region Weiz-Gleisdorf that will illustrate the vision on diverse levels of effect, such as:

Level: Region

  • iEnergy Vision Monitor: informs the inhabitants and stakeholders about the current status regarding the implementation of the energy vision
  • iEnergy Origin Scan: provides information about the (physical) electricity mix at its users’ site

Level: Demonstration Objects (Energetic autonomy)

  • User Segment „Industry, services“: Innovation centre W.E.I.Z. IV
  • User Segment „Private“: Renovation Old Age Pensioners’ residential home front Gleisdorf

In addition to these implemented demonstration projects the following sub-projects were also addressed:

Level: Region

  • iEnergy Aid Fund: Broad citizen-financing scheme for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in the region

Level: Demonstration Projects

  • User Segment „Industry“ ELIN Motor Works
  • User Segment „Public“ Settlement Smart-x

The implementation of innovative mobility concepts, the use of e-mobility and the organization of stakeholder workshops with a focus on mobility connect the individual subprojects and also take into account the specific challenges in transport connections with the city region of Graz (“problem of commuters”).


The project compasses seven different demonstration projects. While the objectives and targets of each project are different, the same methodological approach is applied to all of them.

Stakeholder participation represents the starting point for the development of all sustainable solutions. The consortium sets up a concept, which is discussed and shared with the participants in the stakeholder process. Finally the concept is revised and improved. Smart implementation is carried out in accordance with project management standards. At all project stages the involvement of users is ensured. In the final phase of monitoring the achievement of objectives is reviewed and conclusions for follow-up projects are drawn.

Another special feature is the inclusion of the scientific partner, Graz University of Technology. For iENERGY Weiz-Gleisdorf a so-called expert pool is available, which is composed of scientists from different institutes. Depending on specific project requirements interdisciplinary teams are formed.


The successful implementation of the project highlighted the key success factors of a smart and innovative project like “iEnergy Weiz-Gleisdorf 2.0”: The integration of the (supra-) regional stakeholders, the interdisciplinary project consortium, their strong intention to provide a forward-looking solution in terms of sustainable regional development, without putting forward individual interests, and a flexible and solution-oriented management.

Through accompanying stakeholder processes on an overall project as well as subproject level not only space for discussion, but also opportunities for information, participation and identification of the different stakeholders were created, thus an effective and integrated project implementation was made possible. The inter-disciplinary project consortium enabled the introductions of different perspectives and expertise as well as the use of complementary networks. Leadership and courage as a result of strong intrinsic motivation of the consortium towards a smart regional development and the associated put aside of individual economic interests enabled a trendsetting problem solving. Through flexible, solution-oriented project management, it was possible to adapt the necessary measures for the successful project implementation to the dynamic and volatile frame conditions.

Furthermore, the project’s potential for smart development of the energy region, which can be utilized in the future through the strategic use of innovative technologies, systems and structures was highlighted. Particularly promising in this context are the energy- and emission-intensive segments mobility, building renovation, energy systems as well as the accompanying awareness raising of regional stakeholders. The acquired knowledge will support the members of the project consortium as well as other stakeholders in launching follow-up projects within and outside the energy region. The preparation and dissemination of the developed knowledge base creates a substantial basis to apply, adapt and develop the proposed solutions. This applies to actors from the fields of research, public administration, private sector and also individuals.

The results and experiences of this project (cf. Annex 13) provide a good basis for subsequent projects – partly these projects have already been launched in the region, other problems and their solutions are going to be addressed by upcoming funding applications. Moreover, it would be desirable if other regions and individual municipalities within the energy region dealt more intensively with the project results, took solutions of this project as a model for the further progress towards the Vision 2050, adapted and applied them in accordance with current conditions. Furthermore, it would be desirable if they multiplied the demonstration projects as standard solutions, involved citizens and end customers more actively in the transformation process (e.g. gamification), if they (as a region or city) established the necessary level of commitment towards the vision through municipal legislation and eliminated other implementation barriers, inter alia, by regional financing mechanisms (like revolving funds).

Outlook/suggestions for future research

The relevant project partners plan amongst others the (supra-)regional expansion of the Smart Cities activities under the funding program “Vorzeigeregion Energie” in support of the Climate and Energy Fund. The cities and sub-urban areas are growing rapidly and demand sustainable energy and mobility solutions. In this regard heating and mobility need to catch up in comparison to the electricity sector.

From a technological perspective AND at the system point of view as well as in terms of business models storage technologies seem to play a decisive role. Moreover, the convergence between energy and ICT systems (ICT as an integrator) should be considered strengthened.


Project data – Implementation project of the 2nd Call 2011
Project start: 01.06.2012
Project end: 31.01.2016
Approved funding research part: € 741.400,–
Approved funding invested part: € 1.000.000,–
Paid out funding research part: € 448.006,–
Paid out funding invested part: no application presented, project was cancelled


Energie Steiermark AG (Lead)
JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH
W.E.I.Z. Immobilien GmbH
Technische Universität Graz – Institut für Prozess- und Partikeltechnik
Baumeister Leitner, Planung & Bauaufsicht Gesellschaft mbH
Energieregion Weiz-Gleisdorf GmbH
Almenland & Energieregion Weiz-Gleisdorf Regionalentwicklung GmbH


Project lead

DI Mathias Schaffer
Energie Steiermark AG

Tel: +43(0)316 9000-53620