This action aims at experimenting and spreading the model of joint SEAPs development and implementation in rural territories and towns in 10 European countries. While evaluating their SEAPs and drawing lessons learnt, 5 experienced territories will support 5 learning territories to develop their joint SEAPs through a mentoring approach. The implementation of 2 actions in each territory will make the joint SEAP concrete. National clubs of RURENER networks will be created. While joining Rurener networks, rural communities commit to heading towards being "100% RES communities". Moreover, while preserving its own identity, the RES Champions League will be adapted in line with these "100% RES Communities" criteria and eventually allow evaluating the quantitative progress of communities towards the 100% RES objective (4 new national RES leagues will be created so that all project countries are covered with the action).
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- Demonstrate the political commitment of rural towns and territories to go beyond EU sustainable energy objectives by signing the Covenant of Mayors and engaging in the 100% RES Communities dynamic, undertaking to put programmes, actions and investments in place to help achieve the overall objective of the project.
- Develop joint Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs), involving rural towns together with a territorial coordinator, as the means by which they will fulfil their political commitment. Combining lessons learnt from project experimentations and existing methodologies, approaches and tools, guidelines for a successful joint SEAP implementation will be prepared and disseminated in all partners’ countries.
- Build the capacity of rural communities to enable them to implement sustainable energy measures during and beyond the life of the project, and therefore make the joint SEAPs concrete and participate in the achievement of quantitative targets.
- Promote and use relevant and efficient financing tools and mechanisms that will facilitate and/or provide the financial resources needed to implement the actions. • Allow monitoring the progress of the SEAPs implementation through an adaptation of the RES Champions League action and the introduction of "100% RES communities" criteria. More generally, the evolution of rural sustainable energy at local level could be monitored over Europe.
- Adapt and rationalise existing European campaigns and tools (Rurener, RES Champions League), considering inputs from existing national actions, under the umbrella of a new "100% RES communities" European campaign, with the view to disseminate the results and achievements of the project to the largest possible number of communities and to increase the level of awareness in rural communities’ efforts to contribute to the sustainable energy objectives.
- Supporting sustainable energy project in rural areas is important to also tackle various other local development issues. Jobs created with energy projects and expertise or the fight against fuel poverty are much closer to the usual concerns of mayors and lead eventually to the same set of actions.
- Small communities need assistance to develop a sustainable energy plan (SEAP or similar). If they do so, they have to overcome excessive reporting steps and even then, the dimension of actions they are able to handle themselves may not be at the right scale. Therefore, they should rather gather with neighbour communities and work together with a territorial coordinator. The territorial coordinators should themselves get support from external experts, at least in a starting phase of development.
- The exchange of experiences and mutual support on joint SEAP development are valuable, but show some limits. The Covenant of Mayors procedures are not well adapted to the complex structuring introduced with the grouping of small communities willing to develop and implement a joint SEAP. The consortium will propose changes to this framework on joint SEAPs.
Partners and coordinatorList Map
Liaison Committee for Renewable Energies
Duration:07/04/2012 to 06/04/2015