More than one year of work finally brought results – first steps towards joint SEAP
Introductory presentation meeting with representatives of the Development Centre of the Heart of Slovenia was on 28th of August 2013 in Litija. Development Centre of the Heart of Slovenia is a sub-region development institution that covers an area of 10 municipalities north in east of Ljubljana and carries out different local, regional, national and European projects and puts a lot effort in harmonious development of the area. As a partner in the project 100 % RES communities Slovenski E-forum recognized Development Centre of the Heart of Slovenia as an example of good practice in encouragement of local development. Therefore it was included as a partner in the implementation of the project and the part of the area, which is covered by the Heart of Slovenia, is involved in the implementation of pilot activities. A joint SEAP will be prepared for geographically rounded area of three municipalities: Dol pri ljubljani, Šmartno pri Litiji and Litija.
The purpose of this introductory meeting was to present the basic idea of the project and to analyze local energy concepts with the goal to upgrade them into SEAPs. The representatives of the Development Centre of the Heart of Slovenia were given some explanations about the project and about the name 100 % RES communities which are defined as being towns and territories dealing with one or several of the four points below in an exemplary way:
- having an objective target to change their energy supply system to RES within the next decades (level of objectives),
- developing actions of institutionalization and implementation as concrete measures and plans to adapt the energy supply system (level of planning),
- approaching the issue of energy in a global perspective of local development (level of approach),
- showing first achievements on the way to a sustainable energy supply system (level of execution).
They also got to know the aim of the project which is to stimulate a large number of rural towns and territorial authorities to join and sign the Covenant of Mayors, develop new joint SEAPs and implement structuring RES and energy efficiency actions.
The representatives of the Development Centre of the Heart of Slovenia agreed that the area has good potentials to develop joint SEAP. So the Slovenski E-forum continued the discussion with them and on 9thof May organized another meeting in Litija. The director, energy consultant and the project manager of the Heart of Slovenia were present. The main topic was joint SEAP fo municipalities Šmartno pri Litiji, Litija and Dol pri Ljubljani.
The president of Slovenski E-forum presented the development and evaluation of joint SEAPs. The action aims at developing a model of joint SEAPs elaboration in rural territories and towns. Capacity building activities will be offered to them. They will be established together with a mentoring and coaching approach. The experienced territories – partners that already have joint SEAPs will be there to assist them.
Approximately two months later the representatives of the Development Centre of the Heart of Slovenia and Slovenski E-forum met again. On 15th of July 2014 in Litija took place follow-up discussions on the preparation of a joint SEAP. As a project partner Slovenski E-forum will support the territories in the choice of the most relevant actions, provide technical engineering support and analyse and select the best financing tools.
More precisely, the objectives are to:
- identify suitable RES and energy efficiency projects that fit within the developed plans and form an integral part of joint SEAPs;
- support the rural communities in assessing technical potential of key RES and energy efficiency projects across different sectors of the economy and prioritize them so as to achieve targets;
- assess the feasibility of the potential investments and support the rural communities to appraise their CO2 reduction potential;
- confirm interest and support of the rural authorities and other relevant stakeholders for the potential investments;
- ensure the interest of prospective investors to implement and manage RES and EE systems on a sustainable basis.
Municipalities Šmartno pri Litiji, Litija and Dol pri Ljubljani were being actively included in the project activities. Contacts with these municipalities were made until the next for Slovenski E-forum an important meeting. On 18th of August 2014 mayors, energy managers and representatives of the Heart of Slovenia met in Litija. Slovenski E-forum presented the project 100 % RES communities that is financed by Intelligent Energy Europe program by European Union. The aim of the project is to invite as many municipalities as possible to prepare their join SEAPs (advanced local energy concepts with the CO2 emission balance). Besides that we also encourage municipalities to prepare their join SEAP for geographically and economically rounded communities were is possible to achieve higher energy self-sufficiency by using local renewable sources. That also means new jobs and circulation of the money in the local economy. Possible ways of cooperation and forming timetables for each municipality were discussed on the meeting. The meeting was very successful because more than one year of work finally brought results – first three Slovenian municipalities: Šmartno pri Litiji, Litija and Dol pri Ljubljani have signed a co-operation agreement for participation in the project “100 % RES communities” and therefore agreed to prepare there own SEAP and together a join SEAP.