In the Climate and Energy package 2030 the EC sets new goals for reducing GHG emission, increasing renewables and reducing energy consumption. In order to achieve this, a new energy system is needed. We will have to shift our energy supply form centralized to decentralized; from just a few bigger producers to numerous smaller ones (househoulds). This goes hand in hand with a societal development of bottom-up initiatives to set-up Energy Cooperatives, or other forms of local energy initiatives.
The transition towards a sustainable energy system creates great opportunities to enhance innovation and enhancing regional economies. It offers opportunities to involve the local communities and to boost competitiveness of SME’s. Once they are ready for the next step, local initiatives can play a significant role in the shift towards this decentralized energy system. However, both SME’s and local initiatives lack the specialised knowledge, the experience and overview of the possibilities to take this next step to energy neutrality. They need administrations and research & education institutes in order to maximize their potential. New regulations/policies are needed, new skills for employees are necessary and fundamental research should be applied in practice, to generate new concepts and guidelines.
We are planning to set up a project in the North Sea Region, aiming on facilitating local initiatives to take their role in the shift towards this decentralized energy system and to successfully set the next step towards energy neutrality. We plan to work along three main activities (work packages):
- Local energy pilots and experiments
- How to facilitate local energy initiatives
- Research: analysis, concepts and guidelines
The results are:
a) Feasible and upscalable concepts and business cases for local power generation and energy saving, tested in a real life environment
b) Organisation models and methods, network development to professionalize bottom-up initiatives, guidelines (policy, legislation, financing) for regional and local administrations to facilitate local energy initiatives and bottom-up development
We set out to follow priority 2, objective 2.2 of the programme: Eco-innovation, stimulating the green economy.
Partners Found Already
Northern Netherlands: Fryslân, Groningen, Drenthe, Hanze University, local initiatives, sme’s
[lead partnership Province of Fryslân]
Flanders: Province of Antwerp [pm IGEMO, Mechelen and surrounding area]
Scotland: City Council of Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire (incl. Huntly)
Germany: Oldenburg region [pm Kreis Nordfriesland]
Denmark: Samsø, Aalborg, Århus
Sweden: region Västra-Götaland
Norway: Sør-Trøndelag fylkeskommune [pm other regions]
local, regional, grassroots, renewable energy, carbon reduction, innovation, regional cooperation, business cases, living lab
08 April 2015