EMPOWERING 2020 project : Supporting cities in energy planning


Summer 2019

Capacity building of local authorities in six European regions.

Cities play a key role in fighting against climate change. Local authorities have the power to influence climate issues, however often lack the capacity to recognise challenges, opportunities and deliver solution. This is particularly true for small- and medium sized local authorities which face several challenges when it comes to energy planning and implementation.

Four years ago different authorities –regional development agencies, regions, research institutes– from 6 EU regions (Italy, Spain, Romania, Croatia, Hungary and Greece) decided to empower local and regional authorities (policy makers and public officers) of each region involved to shape sustainable energy plans coherent with the European climate and energy policies. The initiative received funding from the HORIZON 2020 Programme, which is the most important financial instrument to support research and innovation in the European Union.

The main idea was to involve local municipalities and regional authorities in a sound transnational exchange and capacity building activities. The transnational exchange programme was designed to enable policy makers and public officers involved to learn from each other's experiences and adapt effective responses to the major energy challenges. Based on the transnational exchange a capacity building programme was elaborated, consisting of capacity building workshops, consultations and series of thematic webinars aiming at defining a Sustainable Energy & Climate Action Plan (SECAP) or updating the existing ones. In the framework of the programme several tools were elaborated in order to improve local authorities' energy planning skills. First of all, local authorities need to be able to access data, as well as to develop skills in order to analyse and assess data. It is also important to be able to identify relevant and necessary actions and forecast the future.

The SECAPs include baseline CO2 emission data. The Baseline Emission Inventory (BEI) quantifies the amount of CO2 (and CO2 equivalent) emitted due to energy consumption in the territory of the local authority. It allows the identification of the principal sources of CO2 emissions and their respective reduction potentials. During the work a data collection template and BEI calculation tool was developed in order to facilitate the collection of the required activity data and the calculation of the figures for the estimation of the energy consumption and the triggered emissions. The methodological approach includes the completion of specific tables, which are linked with the SECAP template, so as to facilitate the development of the BEI.

Additionally collaborative and interactive "SECAP walkthrough" webinars were organised dedicated to the BEI, ways of tackling the challenges, as well as to the identification of the specific mitigation actions. These were supplemented with local workshops. The regionspecific content was developed by the partners, as local challenges are most likely to be solved by implementing to most suitable actions within the local context taking into consideration the local needs. All related materials are available on the EMPOWERING learning platform: https://empowering2020.eu/

Dr. Christos TourkoliasDr. Christos Tourkolias: Expert in Energy Policy Analysis, CRES, Greece "Local energy planning is a vital process for analysing and evaluating the current conditions (local energy demand, supply and RES resources), defining of the key mitigation actions and monitoring their implementation. All these while informing and involving citizens, addressing energy poverty and boosting sustainable entrepreneurship. Municipal authorities should use this process and make a difference towards reducing carbon emissions and mitigating energy demand, with immedate benefit to their citizens' welfare."

Get and exchange first-hand experience from the participating regions and local authorities and benefit from the results! Join us during the Policy Conference of EUSEW 2019 or the EMPOWERING Final Conference:
Brussels, BELGIUM
Résidence Palace, Maelbeek
Wednesday, 19 June 2019, 11:00 – 12:30

Miskolc, HUNGARY
Castle of Diósgyőr
Tuesday, 25 June 2019, 9:00-15:30