Efforts and changes in development of a model of two joint SEAPs
It was envisioned at the beginning of the project that the surrounding rural area of Novo Mesto would be the area where we would concentrate our efforts to develop a model of joint SEAP in rural territories and towns. In the circle of 40 km radius around Novo Mesto we have been encouraging municipalities and its mayors to join their efforts in joint SEAP. We have assisted these territorial authorities and towns in the preparation of documents for the commitment to the Covenant of Mayors.
We decided to include 10 municipalities of the area of the Heart of Slovenia as they were the most interested in cooperation with us: Šentrupert, Ivančna Gorica, Šmartni pri Litiji, Litija, Dol pri Ljubljani, Kamnik, Lukovica, Mengeš, Moravče and Zagorje. Sub-regional Development Center of the Heart of Slovenia was planned to be the territorial authority that would pledge to assist towns on its territory in developing and implementing SEAP. At first it was intended to include municipalities of Šentrupert, Ivančna Gorica and Litija to sign the CoM until the end of the year 2014. Although numerous meetings were held with the municipalities, not much has been done at the beginning. Besides the above mentioned municipalities, also municipalities Mirna, Mokronog-Trebelno, Šmartno pri Litiji, Dol pri Ljubljani, Domžale, Kamnik, Lukovica and Mengeš were in the phase of ratifying the CoM. In 2014 we were doing well to reach our goals. Three meetings were held with Sub-regional Development center of the Heart of Slovenia which represented all these municipalities. In these meetings it slowly became clear that only municipalities of Litija, Šmartno pri Litiji and Dol pri Ljubljani were the ones that were able to be joined in one geographical and economical entity. They signed the formal agreement on cooperation in the project 100 % RES communities, but then local elections, held on 5th of October 2014 drastically changed the composition of Municipal councils. In January 2015 we started to work on individual SEAP's for the municipalities. We employed an expert on coordination of sub-regional partnerships between municipalities who studied Local energy Concepts of these municipalities and then started upgrading them with the Baseline emission inventory. Local Energy Concept of Šmartno pri Litiji already had some CO2 emissions calculations. However, new authorities in municipality of Dol pri Ljubljani decided to cancel all activities of the previous municipal leadership. We were not surprised by this as such actions are a common part of political reality of the Republic of Slovenia. This leaves us to work only on SEAP's of Šmartno pri Litiji and Litija. The new employee also works as a CoM coordinator who is now organizing meetings with the mayors and council members of the remaining two municipalities in order for us to prepare them for admission to the CoM which is the stepping stone towards admission of new SEAP's. This will then lead to the joint SEAP.
Šentrupert is a municipality that is geographically and economically connected to the municipalities Mirna and Mokronog-Trebelno in the Mirna Valley. It is one of the municipalities at the vanguard of energy transition in Slovenia and as such it was invited to join the project with the municipalities of the Heart of Slovenia. Šentrupert accepted it's SEAP, but as it is not a signatory to the CoM this SEAP is not official. It was only approved by the municipal council. Non the less the SEAP of Šentrupert contains a vision to become energy self-sufficient until 2020. In 2014 when the SEAP was being prepared, members of Slovenski E-forum held a meeting with representatives of Šentrupert where we invited them to sign CoM and make their SEAP official. Due to lack of political will this has not yet happened. We are now focusing our efforts on Šentrupert as their admission to the CoM would be an example for the remaining two municipalities. With all three SEAP's in place this would then be the base for the second joint SEAP.