Almere, Flevoland (NL), 10th June 2011
For the last three years, MORE4NRG project has helped 11 European regions develop strategies that explore their energy potentials and improve their energy efficiency more effectively. The Assembly of European Regions (AER), as a project partner, contributed to the success of this initiative with its unique peer review methodology.
First step – Peer reviews: making assessment of regional energy policies
In the framework of the project, the energy policies of five regions including Maramures (RO), Western Greece (GR), Gabrovo (BG) and Prahova (RO) in 2009, as well as Abruzzo (I) in 2010, were reviewed by their counterparts through a series of tailored peer reviews, conducted under AER coordination.
“The outcomes of these audits are more than satisfying”; said Anne BLIEK, Chair of the MORE4NRG Monitoring Board and Deputy Queen’s Commissioner of the province of Flevoland (NL), adding that “ AER’s Peer Reviews undoubtedly played a key role in the project’s success. They allowed us to share our knowledge and to learn from each other. The regions that hosted peer reviews were offered the unique opportunity to identify their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to developing innovative energy policies. Our project has triggered a major change in their energy policy making, and I am happy to see how fast their energy landscapes are being transformed”.
Some concrete examples confirm this statement: Maramures is currently exploring the possibility of using satellite technologies in the field of biomass-based energy, Gabrovo has integrated a special chapter on energy efficiency into its regional development strategy while Prahova is preparing its regional energy action plan.
Second step – Exchange of good regional practice: the wheel does not have to be reinvented all the time
The project also highlights the regional diversity and creativity in tackling a huge variety of environmental challenges. More4nrg led to the identification of 33 good practices, with10 of them already in the transfer process. One of the most innovative examples originates from Västernorrland (S): the region has set up a snow storage system that helps cool down the local hospital during the summer period. As a result of this project, the electricity consumption has dropped from 450 MWh to 40 MWh.
The “Soap on tap” initiative, implemented by the Italian region of Lazio, encourages reductions in the use of packaging, and subsequently optimizes energy consumption linked to the production of paper, thanks to reusable washing detergent containers installed in the large-scale retail trade. The project is currently being implemented in the province of Flevoland. The Centre for Renewable Energy Sources and Energy Efficiency in Western Greece created the Park of Energy Awareness. The aim is to offer citizens a chance to discover various forms of alternative energy sources and learn more about technologies used to produce clean energy. A similar Park should be created in Prahova, Maramures and Gabrovo to fill a gap in the ecological education system by providing concrete demonstrates that make it more practical.
More4nrg partners expect to continue their successful cooperation with a new INTERREG IVC project Regions4greengrowth, which will focus on energy investment opportunities and be subjected to the European Commission approval.
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