INTENSSS-PA - Integrated Sustainabale Energy Planning


Autumn 2017

A Systematic Approach for Inspiring Training Energy-Spatial Socioeconomic Sustainability to Public Authorities

INTENSSS-PA is an HORIZON2020 project that aims to develop and implement a human and institutional capacity building approach related to integrated sustainable energy planning, addressed to public authorities and societal stakeholders in order to support them to enter in a new era of energy planning through a participatory, multi-level, interdisciplinary decision making process.

To implement this approach, the Living Lab (LL) concept has been adopted. Within INTENSSS-PA a Regional Living Lab (RLL) is defi ned as emerging citizens-public-private partnership, where all stakeholders work together to create, experiment and evaluate new innovative approaches and institutional innovation related to integrated sustainable energy planning.


Figure. INTENSSS-PA Holistic Energy Planning Environment and RLLs Implementation Approach


INTENSSS-PA has established successfully a network of seven RLLs. These are at Junta Castilla y Leon, Calabria, Karditsa regional district, Pomurje statistical region, Zemgale statistical region, Groningen municipality and Middelfart municipality.

The seven RLLs proved to add value to energy planning in the regional areas by developing and implementing planning processes in relation to a more open and collaborative approach to governance.

At present the seven RLLs have entered the co-planning methodological phase and the completed integrated sustainable energy plans are expected to be delivered by February 2018.

The development of urban and rural landscapes constitutes a pioneering era with novel combinations between energy production and consumption and the upcoming changes in the urban and rural fabric including the associated socioeconomic uses. Moreover, the energy initiatives are more viable for development and less vulnerable to failure and societal resistance if they are well-integrated in the local and regional contexts. However, institutional questions remain regarding the required level of integration, while simultaneously the sustainable energy planning involves actors with diverse and conflicting objectives that must come to a consensus.

Inspired by these ascertainments INTENSSS-PA developed an holistic energy planning environment that provides structured expert support with the involvement of: (i) a technical facilitator within each RLL, (ii) an interdisciplinary expert group to provide methodological tools and guidelines and (iii) a Database of Practice that includes training materials and case-studies to support and inspire the RLLs. Overall, INTENSSS-PA’s implementation approach aims to develop a transnational network of RLLs that within their ecosystems energy planning process is supported through a systematic and structured methodology, and to identify ways of integrating this planning environment/approach in the institutional framework for energy planning of the Member States/Regions.


  1. Multilevel Governance has a decisive role in the successful implementation of integrated sustainable energy planning.
  2. Public authorities and societal actors have realized the capacity that participatory decision making provides for regional development and energy transition.
  3. Viability of RLLs requires the development of appropriate business-models or their introduction to an institutional framework.
  4. Societal actors have perceived the importance of energy initiatives on socio-economic and regional development; therefore there is an emerging need of introducing a good balance of top-down and bottom up measures, initiatives and regulations for expediting energy transition.

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 695982.

Neither the European Commission nor any person acting on behalf of the Commission is responsible for the use which might be made of the following information. The views expressed within this article is the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission.