Sustainable and efficient Energy for Rural Regions (VIS NOVA)
Sustainable and efficient Energy for Rural Regions
Start date: Apr 30, 2011,
End date: Oct 30, 2014
To fight against climate mitigation and to provide a secure and affordable supply of energy, European regions have to explore new approaches to exploit endogenous renewable energy sources and to improve their energy efficiency. Especially for rural regions, this on-going restructuring of European energy markets represent an enormous opportunity in the creation of own added value. To integrate the concept of energy autonomy based on renewable sources and energy efficiency into regional development policies, public authorities in rural regions need adequate planning instruments to avoid isolated approaches that fail to unfold the full potentials for territorial cohesion, competitiveness and employment. Furthermore, public authorities often lack profound knowledge about the transferability of European good practices and have a poor access to cutting-edge innovations in intelligent energies.Focus on renewable energies and energy efficiency calls for cross-district cooperation. Searching for good practices in other regions revealed that there is a lack of reliable data, shortages in regional actors capacities, and the absence of a strategic approach for the implementation of set objectives. These deficits can be overcome by integration of instruments promoting energy efficiency. The project VIS NOVA aims to introduce, so called Energy Efficiency Plans that are based on EU good practices, new technologies and transnational learning into regional development policies. The project therefore will assist rural regions to plan and to take action to create new value added in the renewable energy sector, to secure local energy supply, to improve energy efficiency performances, to strengthen their competitiveness as locations for economic activities, and to promote territorial cohesion comprehensively. Achievements: Increasing energy prices are causing the security of energy supply and the efficient use of energy to become a crucial competitive advantage & an important location factor. In order to increase energy efficiency & save energy the 5 regions Northern Saxony/Duben Heath (DE), Schwäbisch Hall (DE), Tulln (AT), Gorlice, Małopolska (PL) & Tolna (HU) came together to jointly implement the CENTRAL EUROPE project VIS NOVA. In particular the project aims at establishing & developing effective & sustainable energy solutions in rural regions. 12 partners from 5 regions in 4 CE countries try to accomplish these goals by exchanging knowledge & experiences & by motivating regional energy stakeholders to pioneer in intelligent energy solutions & combining various renewable energy sources. As a result sustainability & a secured supply shall be turned into a location factor. The possibility to determine prices can be exploited as a new incentive to promote economic development. Moreover, regional addedvalue & hence employment in the energy sector is strengthened. The transnational project officially started in May 2011. The VIS NOVA partners first came together for the preparatory meeting in July 2011 in Leipzig & subsequently began the contextual work. As the 1st phase of the project the partners began to carry out the strategic groundwork which includes performing a transnational comparison of the 5 partner regions on the basis of regional SWOT analyses. During the 2nd international partner meeting in September 2011 in Bad Düben, the partners discussed a common methodology to elaborate these SWOT analyses & make their results comparable. The purpose of these analyses is to investigate the potentials & current situation with reference to renewable energy resources in the 5 partner regions. The analyses were presented at the 3rd partner meeting in March 2012 in Pécs & featured 76 good practices. A transnational comparison of the SWOT results which was finalized by Austrian partner CERE in December 2012 will further be the basis for the Transnational Sustainable Energy Strategy. The first results of this comparison were presented at a conference in Gorlice in October 2012 & the final results were discussed with experts in an Expert Workshop during the enertec in January 2013. The project pursuits an integrated approach which addresses both the supply & demand side. The good practices are researched in order to transfer them & test them in pilot measures before the regional energy efficiency plans will be politically adopted. Already existing energy/regional development agents will assume the competency of a regional sustainable energy centre to master the energy efficiency plans medium & long-term implementation. From the start different scientific, economic & political stakeholders are to be integrated & brought together in order to successfully implement the project objectives.
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