More than 600 projects across Europe have been co-funded by the IEE programme since 2003. These projects cover fields as diverse as education and electrical appliances, yet all contribute to building a greener and more secure energy future for the EU.
Citizens explain the benefits of nearly-zero-energy buildings
Citizens explain the benefits of nearly-zero-energy buildings
Abstract: The European Directive for the energy performance of buildings is an ambitious undertaking that needs the active involvement of citizens. The NZB2021 project is a 10-country Open Door Day campaign that gives visitors hands-on experience in planning and living in nearly-zero-energy buildings.
CHAMP gets leading cycling cities to share good and bad experiences
CHAMP gets leading cycling cities to share good and bad experiences
CHAMP is convinced that better urban biking policies require the creation of a biking culture. Good infrastructure isn’t the only reason why some cities are more open to cycling than others.
REScoop 202020 A network of renewable energy cooperatives
Twelve organizations have joined forces, under the leadership of the Federation of Renewable Energy Sources cooperatives, to increase the number of successful citizen-led renewable energy projects across Europe. Specifically, REScoop 20-20-20 aims to heighten social acceptance of new renewable energy installations by sharing practical knowledge on how to set up and run local, citizen controlled Renewable Energy Sources cooperatives.
The overall goal is to speed up the creation of renewable energy projects and related cooperatives in various Member States. REScoop 202020 is pinpointing all the renewable energy cooperatives around Europe and promoting dialogue and exchange. So far information from more than 700 cooperatives has been collected; all the pioneers responsible for these initiatives have joined forces and a mentoring network has been established where all their expertise and experiences is being shared. The project has produced materials and tools (European RES Cooperatives Charter, best practices, community engagement guide, training courses and workshops on how set up a RES cooperatives) to guide and assist new interested communities in the setting up a RES cooperative in Europe. The project partners are directly assisting stakeholders in different Member States (Greece, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Denmark, Belgium, France, UK). The assistance to 15 cooperative projects ranges from day to day support on administrative, legal and financial aspects to technical advice covering, covering different technologies such as wind, solar, and bioenergy. The communication campaign, an integral part of the project, will also be crucial to put cooperatives on the national and European energy policy agendas
BioEnergy Farm – fostering bioenergy production and use in farms
Thanks to BioEnergy Farm, farmers in 6 European countries increased their use of solid biomass or biogas for energy production. The project will lead to a cumulative investment of 95 M€ by 2016 thanks to 43 bioenergy projects with a total output of over 50 MW.
Individual farmers can use the 'online bioenergy quickscan ' to assess the feasibility of bioenergy production and energy consumption on their farm.
The tool was the basis for the selection of the more promising cases which were then analysed more in depth to determine the economic profitability. The consortium organized study trips to learn from the best practices on site. Furthermore to increase the sustainability and transferability of the solutions, a more complete tool is available and can be downloaded from website. A training programme was developed and implemented to train experts in performing the bioenergy scans, and a compilation of best practises was published online, including economic figures. As results of the project the online bioenergy scan was used by approximately 2.500 farmers and the software version was downloaded 600 times.
EcoMobility SHIFT – measuring performance of urban mobility
The need to keep cities liveable, safe and accessible has become an issue of increasing concern for city governments. EcoMobility refers to the ability of any individual to travel, access opportunities and reach destinations in an environmentally-friendly, safe and healthy way.
EcoMobility SHIFT has identified 20 indicators that allow it to measure how a city currently works, what it has delivered on the ground and the results and impacts achieved.
Between 2010 and 2013, 25 cities and 39 stakeholders from 15 EU-countries have participated in the development of the scheme. Six pilot cities have thoroughly tested the scheme and been awarded with a Gold, Silver or Bronze Label for EcoMobility.
In 2013, the project established the SHIFT organisation to promote and expand the use of the EcoMobility SHIFT scheme throughout Europe and beyond.
Oxford community groups are delivering on energy…
The MLEI OTR (Oxfordshire Total Retrofit) grant awarded to Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council is supporting a local social enterprise, the Low Carbon Hub, and the results are rolling in.
The Low Carbon Hub was launched in 2012 to support the up-scaling of community energy models, in which local community groups set up an investment project in renewable energy and offer shares in the project to anyone willing to invest.
The MLEI OTR project supported Osney Lock Hydro raised over £500,000 from 197 local shareholders. The 49kW microhydro project is now under construction on the river Thames in West Oxford and hopes to be operational in the Spring.
The 140kW solar PV scheme on the Oxford Bus Company’s roof required £150,000 of investment and will now provide the company with low cost electricity.
Low Carbon Hub are working with 25 communities and building a pipeline of projects with businesses across Oxfordshire.
BioRegions – supporting the creation of "bioenergy regions" in rural areas
The aim of the project was to create five "bio regions" across Europe, defined as having one third of their energy needs (excluding transport) covered with local bioenergy resources. To achieve this, the regions defined, adopted and implemented Action Plans to trigger investments in bioenergy technologies.
The regions involved were Sredna Gora (Bulgaria), Slavicin and Brumov-Bylnice (Czech Republic), Trièves (France), County Westmeath (Ireland) and Limbaži (Latvia). The Action Plans were defined in close collaboration with the main stakeholders and have been endorsed by public authorities in all target regions. The initial objectives have been overachieved and thanks to the project activities more than 3 MW of installed capacity of bioenergy systems have been triggered in the target regions.
In addition, the partners received over 130 expressions of interest from a total of 36 regions, provinces or municipalities from 12 EU Member States, wanting to implement similar activities. The project has created replicable Action Plan templates and recommendations to create bioenergy networks, to support policy makers in creating Bio regions all over Europe.
Picture by Sean McGrath, flickr.com
CEPH Passive House Designer training keeps on growing
Since the end of the IEE-funded CEPH project in 2011, the number of architects and engineers trained on Passive House Design has been multiplied tenfold.
Thanks to the IEE-funded "Certified Passive House Designer" CEPH project, a ten-day training course on Passive House Design for architects and engineers was compiled and translated into 7 European languages from 2008 to 2011. The project successfully carried out 19 pilot courses in 9 EU countries (Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Slovakia, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands) and trained a total of 380 professionals in integrated Passive House Design using the Passive House Planning Package (PHP P) and its energy balancing software model.
Since the end of the project, the training course was translated to 5 additional languages (Bulgarian, Hungarian, Polish, Lithuanian and Swedish). In March 2013, the number of trained professionals exceeded 3000 and is expected to grow over 4000 by 2014 while more translations are under preparation. Currently about 55 course providers offer the training all across Europe and even beyond.
After completing the exam organised worldwide simultaneously, the trained professionals are awarded the “Certified Passive House Designer/Consultant ” Certificate by the Passive House Institute . This certification scheme is part of a broader integrated quality assurance programme also addressing the certification of qualified tradespeople , new buildings and retrofitting projects as well as products .
BioGrace - Aligning GHG emission calculations in Europe
European Commission recognises 'BioGrace' Greenhouse Gas (GHG) calculation tool as voluntary scheme - in line with sustainability criteria of Renewable Energy Directive and Fuel Quality Directive
With support from Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) programme, the BioGrace project aimed at harmonising the calculations of GHG emissions for biofuels and bio-liquids based on the sustainability criteria established in the Renewable Energy and Fuel Quality Directives. Since conversion factors are not specified for the GHG calculation methodology in these Directives, different results could be obtained for the same biofuel. Thanks to BioGrace, national GHG calculation tools for biofuels have been harmonised for Austria, France, Germany, Greece, The Netherlands, Spain and Sweden.
Commission Implementing Decision , published in the Official Journal of the European Union on June 1st, recognises the BioGrace tool as a voluntary scheme. The European Commission has stated that the "BioGrace GHG calculation tool" contains accurate data for the purposes of the Renewable Energy Directive Article 17 (2) on GHG emission savings and complies with the methodological requirements laid down in Annex V of the Directive. The BioGrace calculator features unanimously defined standard values, detailed calculation rules and provides a user manual.
The IEE programme is now supporting a follow up project, 'BioGrace-II', which seeks to harmonise calculations of GHG emissions for electricity, heating and cooling from solid and gaseous biomass.
Picture: Cows on the river by Sean McGrath, flickr.com
Highlighting competitiveness of Solar Photovoltaics in 11 EU countries
Cost competitiveness for photovoltaics in the residential, commercial and utility scale market segments has been analysed in the PV PARITY project. National competitiveness roadmaps have been developed for each of 11 target countries.
The market analysis carried out by the PV PARITY team shows that in the residential sector PV reached cost competitiveness in several EU regions in 2012 (e.g. South Germany, South Italy, Crete). Northern Italy, Portugal and Austria will follow in the next two years and then progressively grid parity will be reached in other countries. By the end of the decade, depending on how prices will evolve but also the cost of financing, grid parity could be achieved in all target countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the UK).
ENGAGE for sustainable energy!
12 Pioneer cities committed to reduce their energy consumption
ENGAGE is a participative communication action implemented by European cities.
The project has launched a campaign inviting citizens and stakeholders to play their part in building a sustainable energy future.
12 pioneer cities, directly involved in the project, have committed to reduce their energy consumption. This was replicated in an additional 49 cities.
The project monitored these engagements by politicians, public servants, the general public and other stakeholders in order to estimate the savings effects of the campaign in a city.
Emissions of more than 40 000 tonnes of CO2 have been avoided during the action; although the IEE project itself recently ended, the campaign is on-going.
Help reduce energy consumption, join the campaign and get engaged!
AgriforEnergy II - Mobilising investments in the agricultural and forestry sector
Promoting the sustainable production of biomass from forestry and agriculture without harming the food production to trigger investment projects across Europe.
The AgriforEnergy II project has promoted the sustainable production of biomass from forestry and agriculture for energy production in 7 European regions in Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Bulgaria, Sweden and Finland.
The project has published concrete case studies in each sector, available in 7 languages. 11,000 people have been engaged in collective workshops, study tours, and one-to-one meetings.
During the action, technical assistance has been provided to 77 investment projects in bioheat, pure vegetable oil, biogas and biomethane, representing altogether over €71m and 60,000 tCO2 saved per year.
OFFSHORE GRID - plugging wind into the grid
Renewable energy sources provide green energy - but connecting them to the existing grid can be a challenge.
The OFFSHORE GRID project team looked at the technical and economic challenges of connecting offshore North Sea wind farms to the electricity grid and came up with a series of recommendations that contributed to the European Commission's own strategy on energy infrastructure .
Pioneering Intelligent Energy Initiatives Honoured
Nearly 200 pupils and teachers from across Europe were commended at U4energy’s European Award Ceremony in Brussels on 26 November for their pioneering efforts as champions in energy education.
Over 600 schools, 30 European countries and 1000 energy saving success stories from pupils and teachers alike! That's what the U4Energy school competition has delivered, and more.
Schools from Austria, Croatia, France, Italy and Spain were the winners of the u4energy European Award 2012 presented in Brussels on 26 November.
A Grand Jury had the daunting task of selecting them amongst the winners of national competitions, where teachers and pupils had to think about their daily consumption habits and to take action to optimize energy resources.
BUILD UP Skills: qualifications for craftsmen and on-site workers
BUILD UP Skills is an EU Initiative to improve the qualification and skills of Europe's building workers which are essential to build, equip and renovate buildings of high energy performance.
The construction sector is challenged to deliver energy efficient building renovations and embark on nearly zero-energy building projects. Through BUILD UP Skills IEE funding is available to prepare the ground for establishing training schemes and to encourage the continuing education of craftsmen and on-site workers. This initiative has mobilised a major effort in 30 European countries to increase the number of qualified workers and to facilitate the decision-making process for building-owners. As an example of national action, as announced in the sector press, energy skills workshops are held in October for the Irish construction sector .
FRESH - financing the retrofitting of social housing
Energy efficient improvements are cost-effective in the long-term, but the upfront investment, particularly in big projects, can be off-putting.
The French-led FRESH project team offers hands-on experience of using a win-win financing model to retrofit social housing - energy performance contracting. Part of the upfront investment is provided by a third party and the investments are paid for by the energy savings made. This makes initial investment costs easier to manage without compromising on energy efficiency.
AENEAS - energy efficient transport for seniors
As the population of Europe ages, the number of people using private cars increases. This presents specific mobility challenges in our cities. AENEAS was the first IEE project to look into this issue. The project encouraged older people to use more sustainable forms of transport, such as public transport, by launching travel campaigns, training senior citizens and organising other events. The project reached 80 000 people with its travel campaigns in five European cities and also provided toolkits for passenger and bus driver training.
Last update: 28/10/2014 | Top