ManagEnergy Newsletter - November 2011

download Newsletter November 2010Content

The 2012 ManagEnergy Award Competition is open! Submit your case study today!

ManagEnergy Award 2011ManagEnergy’s annual call for case studies is open as of 21 November 2011 and will close on 29 February 2012. Submit your success story, share your experience and be in with a chance of winning the 2012 ManagEnergy Local Energy Action Award!

What is it about? ManagEnergy rewards and promotes successful sustainable energy initiatives and encourages their replication across Europe.

Who is it for? For local and regional authorities, energy agencies or any actors developing sustainable energy projects at the local and regional level.

What is there for you? The best projects will be presented with the 2012 ManagEnergy Local Energy Action Award in a special ceremony in Brussels, on 19 June 2012, during the 2012 European Sustainable Energy Week. Selected case studies will also be included in the ManagEnergy Good Practice Brochure, promoted on the ManagEnergy website and presented at various ManagEnergy events across Europe.

What kind of case studies are eligible? Initiatives which make a clear contribution to energy efficiency and/or the use of renewable energy; projects that have demonstrated a positive impact during the last two years and have the potential to be replicated. They should not cover research or demonstration.

How to submit a case study? Download and fill out the case studies template and send it to the ManagEnergy team.

Make the difference and gain visibility. Submit your case study today!

New ‘Connecting Europe Facility’ aims to boost investment in energy infrastructure

energy infrastructures - click to enlarge the pictureThe European Commission has recently presented an ambitious plan which will fund €50 billion worth of investment to fill the missing links in Europe’s energy, transport and digital backbone. In terms of the energy sector, €9.1 billion is foreseen for trans-European infrastructure, namely pipelines and electricity grids, in order to help meet the EU2020 energy and climate change objectives.

Why do we need an energy infrastructure package and what role will sustainable energy play? In order to reach the 20% target for renewable energy by 2020, we need to bring the energy generated by wind parks and solar power stations to consumers. Therefore, a more integrated and powerful network is necessary. Similarly, in order to save 20% of our energy consumption via technology, we need smart grids and smart meters to enable consumers to monitor their consumption and reduce their energy bills.

What is the proposal? The European Commission proposes to select a number of projects of ‘Common Interest’ which are important to reach its energy and climate goals. These projects will benefit from a special permit granting procedure, which is easier, faster and more transparent. Furthermore, they will be eligible for EU funding, through grants, project bonds or guarantees.

When and how much? The ‘Connecting Europe Facility’ has earmarked €9.1 billion for the period 2014-2020.

Who will benefit and how? European citizens and companies will be supplied with sufficient energy at affordable prices. Greenhouse gas emissions will be lowered, as new electricity lines will transport greater amounts of renewable energy. New jobs will be created and Europe’s competitiveness will be boosted.

What comes next? The Regulation concerning guidelines for the implementation of the European energy infrastructure priorities is expected to come into effect on 1 January 2013.

Make use of the online capacity building resources from ManagEnergy workshops!

ManagEnergy workshopAs ManagEnergy is committed to supporting local and regional energy actors through concrete capacity building opportunities, the initiative has organised twenty workshops across Europe in a period of less than two years. You can make use of a wealth of training resources available on the ManagEnergy website!

From Plovdiv to Paris, Riga, Budapest and numerous other European cities, ManagEnergy has travelled across Europe to provide training and capacity development. Most recently:

  • The workshop in Kaunas, Lithuania addressed the issue of energy planning, the involvement of Energy Service Companies and the utilisation of Structural and Cohesion Funds for energy efficiency projects in the municipal building sector. Experts’ presentations and interactive discussions provided an insight into the National Renewable Energy Action Plan and its implications.
  • The workshop in Paris, France focused on the development and implementation of Sustainable Energy Action Plans. Representatives from the Covenant of Mayors Office and the Joint Research Centre guided participants through practical issues related to the quantification and reporting of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The workshop in Tartu, Estonia helped to build understanding of the benefits of sustainable energy planning, and the development and financing of Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs). Good practice examples were presented and discussed in detail in order to enable knowledge transfer and in-depth analysis.
  • The workshop in Athens, Greece focused on smart financing mechanisms for implementing sustainable energy measures. Training was offered on the set-up of cooperative schemes in renewable energy projects and on the development of public-private partnerships between local authorities and private sector investors.

While participation in the workshops is limited to a small number of relevant energy actors, the background, presentations, analysis and outcomes from all workshops are available online for everyone!

Regions delivering on sustainable energy strategies: workshop during Open Days 2011

Open DaysThe local and regional dimension of sustainable energy was a key aspect of the 2011 European Week of Cities and Regions. The widely appreciated annual ‘Open Days’ gathering featured a highly interesting workshop organised by the Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation (EACI).

The workshop, entitled ‘Regions delivering on sustainable energy strategies’, highlighted good practice examples of regions planning, financing, implementing and delivering concrete sustainable energy actions.

All presentations focused on the solid commitment and active involvement of regional actors in implementing sustainable energy measures. The topic was approached from various angles. Among other things:

  • A toolbox of methodologies for supporting the actions of Covenant of Mayors signatories was presented.
  • The achievements of regional development agencies in engaging decision makers, raising public awareness and mobilising investment in sustainable energy were highlighted. 
  • The role of regional energy agencies in capacity building and energy planning was showcased.

According to Martin Eibl from the EACI: ‘Low carbon regions can easily become a reality when actors collaborate together and capitalise on the experiences and skills available.’

The key message conveyed at the workshop also reflects the scope and philosophy behind ManagEnergy: while common sustainable energy objectives are set at EU level, concrete action needs to take place at the local level, involving the mobilisation and engagement of all actors.

Find out more about the workshop, download the presentations and get inspired by good practice examples!

Gain knowledge and inspiration through the new CONCERTO Cities’ Guide to a Sustainable Built Environment

A recently released CONCERTO guide outlines how local communities across Europe are transforming their inspiration into action by collaborating and developing synergies in sustainable energy planning, financing, public engagement and emission monitoring.

According to the European Commissioner for Energy, Mr Oettinger: ‘The CONCERTO initiative is proving that cities can, given the right planning, be transformed into pioneers in the world of energy efficiency and sustainability.’

Indeed, the results so far have been encouraging: CONCERTO cities have shown that through innovative technologies and an integrated approach, existing buildings can cut their CO2 emissions by up to 50%, at acceptable costs.

This is also the focus of the guide, which aims to outline how to cultivate innovation, energy efficiency and renewable energy in cities. The main topics analysed are:

  • Optimising energy performance in the urban built environment
  • Planning, financing, implementing and evaluating sustainable energy projects
  • Creating the necessary regulatory and political environment
  • Maximising a project’s impact through information, training and education

The CONCERTO initiative has been a step in the right direction. It has been a platform in which communities have been able to share their experience and implement technologies, which lead to sustainable outcomes. The next step is to take CONCERTO to new and exciting heights via the recent launch of the Smart Cities initiative.

European regions join forces against climate change: the newly signed ‘Lyon Declaration’

A new, ambitious initiative in the field of climate protection and sustainable energy at the local and regional level has been recently formalised through the signature of the ‘Lyon Declaration’.

The declaration urges the international community to take action against climate change and calls for local and regional governments to adopt concrete actions. This commitment was made on 21 October 2011, at the end of the European Conference of Regions on Climate Action organised jointly by the Rhône-Alpes Region, the Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development (Nrg4SD) and The Climate Group.

The declaration calls for a decentralised ‘Clean Revolution’, which entails, among other things: the improvement of institutional capacity at the regional level and the involvement of citizens for the reduction of CO2 emissions by 30% by 2020, the implementation of measures for the refurbishment of public buildings at an annual rate of 3%, the employment of innovative technologies and the development of financing mechanisms through the collaboration between local governments and the private sector.

The ‘Lyon Declaration’ views local and regional communities as front-runners in the transition to a low carbon economy and aims to become a roadmap for future cooperation and enhanced synergies among European regions.

Find out more about:

The annual Covenant of Mayors ceremony is taking place on 29 November. Stay informed!

The timing of this year’s Covenant of Mayors ceremony could not be better given the fact that the initiative has just welcomed its 3000th signatory city! The 2011 ceremony, the third since the initiative was launched, is taking place on 29 November 2011 at the premises of the European Parliament in Brussels.

As the Covenant is steadily growing in influence and impact, the Covenant team identifies three key reasons for European cities and regions to participate in the ceremony:

  1. Share experiences with other local and regional authorities, get inspiration from their actions and exchange ideas. Creativity and collaboration are needed more than ever to overcome budget constraints, administrative barriers, capacity limitations and lack of resources.
     
  2. Receive continued support by demonstrating the Covenant local and regional authorities’ commitment to creating better living conditions for their citizens through the development of sustainable energy policies.
     
  3. Send a hopeful message in the context of the international negotiations on climate change. COP17 will open on 28 November, just a day before the ceremony takes place. To this end, the mobilisation of local authorities for sustainable energy actions is a strong element the EU could rely on to defend its position.

High-level dialogue will be facilitated so as to enable authorities to come face-to-face with prominent representatives of European institutions and to debate ways in which to tackle climate change and energy challenges together.

Furthermore, the ‘identity’ of the 3000th Covenant city will be revealed and the newly joined signatory will receive a special prize.

ManagEnergy could not be absent from such a gathering! Our team will be at the venue, available for networking and questions!