Local Partnerships for Greener Cities and Regions
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The Project: introduction

The Green partnerships scope and objectives

Theme of the project

The project is addressing the contribution of local communities to the achievement of the objective for EU’s decarbonisation.

The EU targets for ensuring security of efficient energy supply are transferred to the national and local level. In municipalities, the local public authorities are responsible for setting up their frameworks for efficient energy management by taking into account local potentials for sustainable development.

Project’s aim is to support local administrations to overcome existing obstacles and effectively implement the set measures on the way to energy efficient cities and regions. Sustainable solutions will be implemented by creating local partnerships between owners, suppliers and final users of these initiatives.

Summary of the project

Local communities are key actors in addressing and implementing the goals for increased Energy Efficiency (EE) and promotion of Renewable Energy Sources (RES) which are contributing to achieving the 20/20/20 targets set by the EU. MED cities and regions have prepared their local energy strategies and action plans, but they are facing several obstacles hindering their efficient implementation. Obstacles include process and technological knowledge: lack of capacities regarding technical knowledge and standards for selecting the leading technological options and defining stricter public procurements rules, administrative and legislative barriers, lack of innovative financing options and lack of cooperation with stakeholders which would support decision-making and implementation of selected measures.

Green Partnerships will connect cities and regions from 11 MED countries that will overcome the listed obstacles by establishing a common transnational approach with focus on creating local partnerships which will contribute to more efficient implementation of innovative EE and RES solutions leading to sustainable local and regional development.

Local partnerships will connect stakeholders affected by a certain EE measure, from the owner to suppliers, potential investors, employees and final users. They will share their proposals and actively take part in their implementation.

Thus long-term basis will be formed for innovative solutions based on local potentials and improved behavior patterns leading to EE.

The approach will be tested at the local level and described in the Step-by-Step Guide for efficient implementation of local energy strategies by forming local partnerships.

By connecting public organizations, Local Action Groups will be formed and their capacity for setting the targets and increasing cooperation with stakeholders will be supported through several workshops and training materials. The Local Action Groups will thus be empowered to operate in line with the new approach.

The project activities will result in improved public policy related to EE in participating cities and regions, new investments and energy savings of up to 40 % in public facilities, increased capacity of public organizations and long-term cooperation of local partnerships for energy efficient solutions.

Sustainability and transferability will be assured with financing of the investment proposals at the local level, with transfer of the operational recommendations in the Step-by-Step Guide to other MED and EU local communities, including signatories of the Covenant of Mayors, and with further functioning of the established networks for knowledge transfer at the transnational, regional and local level.

State of the art

In line with the common EU objectives in the Europe 2020 and Energy Roadmap 2050 papers, MED territories are also committed to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and increasing EE. These objectives are then transferred to local territories where actual goals need to be achieved to contribute to the common objectives.

Numerous MED and EU projects are already tackling this field. The problem we are facing is that these projects often stop at the national or regional level and do not provide real benefits to the local administrative structures in MED cities and regions.

In case when the local authorities manage to prepare their own energy strategy or action plan, they face several obstacles in its implementation, including administrative barriers, access to finance, standard use of technological solutions etc.

The existing projects or studies are usually focused on one type of renewable energy source (e.g. biomass or solar energy only), while each city or municipality is a unique territory defined by all its features and potentials.

Therefore we are experiencing a lack of integrative approaches that would firstly analyze key local potentials for EE and RES, and only then create tailored approaches and solutions that would fit the actual territory, its needs, potentials and users. Additionally, the existing solutions are often based on available technologies promoted by private enterprises, instead of creating innovative solutions that would bring together the owner of a land or building, suppliers of various technological solutions, and the users of a certain public building with their needs and habits.

The main problem addressed is that the existing local energy strategies and action plans are not implemented with the maximum level of efficiency, there are several obstacles for their implementation, and the solutions are not based on local potentials due to the lack of competences of local public authorities and insufficient cooperation between stakeholders in energy chain.

The specific problems are:

  1. The cities and local communities in the MED area have adopted several local energy strategies for increasing energy efficiency which are in line with the top-down guidelines, but there are several obstacles in efficiently approaching their implementation at the local level (administrative barriers, problems with financing, lack of innovative approaches towards technological solutions etc.).
  2. Lack of sufficient knowledge and competences for informed decision-making in local public administrations (cities and municipalities) concerning standards, quality requirements, technical aspects and processes for efficient implementation of local energy strategies.
  3. Lack of cooperation between stakeholders included in the energy chain which is hindering efficient implementation of local energy strategies, including local public authorities and other public organizations, private sector and SMEs and final users.

General and specific objectives of the project

The project is addressing the priority axis 2, the objective 2.2 of the MED programme, addressing the specific objective of the targeted call aimed at promoting innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions for smart Mediterranean cities.

The main objective of the project is to strengthen the implementation of local public policies and strategies related to energy efficiency for sustainable local and regional development of the MED cities and local communities by:

  • developing a joint innovative approach including the development, promotion and testing of operational recommendations for overcoming the existing difficulties faced by local public authorities and
  • enhancing cooperation of stakeholders in implementing energy efficiency measures by creating local partnerships.

The specific objectives of the project are:

  1. to identify optimal solutions to overcome existing obstacles and find ways for more efficiently implementing the existing measures defined by energy efficiency strategies in local communities on the basis of analysis of existing solutions (including definition of quality requirements, energy management schemes, administrative barriers), which will result in energy savings up to 40 % in public facilities;
  2. to improve knowledge and competences for better energy management in local public administrations (cities and municipalities) concerning standards, quality requirements and technical aspects, and establish mechanisms for transfer of knowledge and experience within local communities, between participating partners and beyond;
  3. to mobilize and consult final users and increase cooperation with stakeholders by establishing local partnerships, forming a new integrative approach to energy efficiency in local communities, ensuring wide support and consensus for the implementation of local energy strategies as well as adequate and efficient use of available technologies.

The target groups

  • European institutions
  • National public authorities
  • Regional and local public authorities
  • Other public bodies from sectors related to energy efficiency and the renewable energy sources
  • Supporting experts structures, i.e. universities and research institutes
  • Economic and social partners
  • Representatives of the private sector, trade and industry
  • Regional development agencies
  • Chambers of Commerce, NGOs
  • General public
  • Final users