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Start date: Aug 31, 2008, End date: Mar 30, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

In the context of ambitious EU targets for climate protection, the POWER Regional Initiative will explore ways to move towards a low carbon economy at regional level, in particular by re-formulating regional development strategies and policy instruments and identifying effective forms of sub-regional action which also contribute to regional competitiveness. The seven participating regions of South East England, Malopolska, Emilia-Romaga, Noord-Brabant, Stockholm, Tallinn, Andalucia have come together to exchange on good practices, transfer of knowledge and experiences on the how to tackle these complex issues requiring an integrated policies framework and committed individuals & organisations at all level to decouple the links between economic growth and environmental pressures. The partner regions will work toward achieving long-term policy objectives of fossil free Europe, Kyoto Protocols, Energy targets by 2020, renewed Sustainable Development Strategy by developping appropriateroad-maps, finding the best path together in response to these future challenges. The regions will establish a POWER Policy network operating through 5 thematic working groups made up of policy experts in the area of energy and sustainable transport, strategic layer or "think-tank" of the operation working collectively and through a number of sub-networks to inform the regional road maps. Two calls will be organised for the selection of the 12 sub-networks inviting the local/regional stakeholders to participate in the regional initiative. The five areas of co-operation selected for joint co-operation and networking activities are: 1) Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energies 2) Sustainable transport 3) Eco-innovation and environmental technologies 4) Behaviour Change and 5) mainstreaming with EU structural funds. The sub-networks will allow the combination of "supply and demand side" through a bottom-up approach and the embedding of policy good practices at local level.These will result in 15 000 citizens, industrial customers and public authorities with increased capacity and awareness in reducing carbon footprint - 34 good practices transferred - 12 policy recommendations and 7 road maps. In addition, the project will also have a catalyst effect on carbon reduction in participating regions, reduction of greenhouse gas emission, generation of electricity from renewable resources, enhancing the use of environmental technologies and eco-innovation and more generally the project will contribute to preserserve the health and well-being of citizens and the future generations. The programme management will be comprised of a secretariat based in the South East Enlgnad working with a network of Regional Correspondents and Policy thematic groups. Through interregional cooperation the participating regions on this POWER project will find new paths on how best to develop and grow successful economies while embracing emission-reducing policies. Achievements: POWER is a €5.8m inter-regional programme, which aims to enable a strategic and catalytic approach to meet the ambitious EU targets for climate protection by exploring ways to move towards a low carbon economy at regional level. In particular by reformulating regional development strategies and policy instruments which contribute to regional competitiveness. The programme involves 7 European regions, South East England (UK), Stockholm (Sweden), Tallinn (Estonia), Malopolska (Poland), Noord-Brabant (Netherlands), Emilia-Romagna (Italy) and Andalucia (Spain). The programme identified 5 different themes - Energy Efficiency, Eco-Innovation and Environmental Technologies, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Transport and Behaviour change, in which sub-projects will be approved to work towards these aims. The first call led to 4 sub-projects: GENERATION, 'Green ENERgy AudiTIng for a Low CarboN Economy' will deliver a simplified tool for conducting building energy audits; TrIsCo, 'Transition Island Communities: Empowering Localities to Act', which responds to the theme of harnessing behaviour change to catalyse a low CO2 economy via the effective engagement of local communities to change their behaviour to adopt low carbon habits; WICO, 'Wind of the Coast', has been conceived to fit with the common interest and commitment to concretely move towards low carbon economy and the reduction of greenhouse emissions through the Renewable Energy theme by deploying wind-powered technology; ITACA, 'Innovative Transport Approach in Cities and Metropolitan Areas', under the Sustainable Transport theme, is exploring integrated transport systems for a new sustainable urban mobility, with the lowest environment and climatic impact. A second call was opened for prospective bidders in October 2009. A dissemination event, aligned with the Swedish Presidency of the EU, took place (25/11/09) with the aim to increase the awareness of the ways to reach low carbon economy among local, regional and private actors; to achieve qualitative discussions with high level participants and experts, the results of which can contribute to the EU policy work; to deepen the already existing co-operations & establish new ones within the POWER programme and provide a platform for the exchange of good practices & ideas for future actions.
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