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Achieving Energy Sustainability in Peripheral Regions of Europe (ASPIRE)

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The ASPIRE project began in October 2006, through the participation of 10 communities across the EU. Each ASPIRE community was represented in the project by key local partners. The ‘core partners’ carried out the majority of actions and established defined Sustainable Energy Communities (SEC). The ‘level 3’ partners have taken a more observational and consultative role in the project, with the aim of integrating the ASPIRE model in their local planning following the close of the project. The key outcome of the ASPIRE project was the promotion of ‘Sustainable Energy Communities’ (SECs) in six EU Member- States through the preparation of local ‘Sustainable Energy Action Plans’ (SEAPs). The planning, drafting and adoption of SEAPs involved the communities and its relevant issue and several partners. ASPIRE’s main objective was to develop a replicable model for creating ‘Sustainable Energy Communities’ in peripheral areas of EU. The project aimed to increase sustainable energy integration at local level, as well as to identify financing structures and schemes to support the creation of local energy services in low-density communities.


  • Creation of Sustainable Energy Communities and adoption of Sustainable Energy Action Plans in 6 peripheral European regions in the following Member States: UK, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic, Italy & Latvia
  • Identification of 28 energy efficiency actions across the six ASPIRE communities, amounting to an energy saving of 10 200 MWh and a estimated reduction of 3 794 tonnes of CO2
  • Various spin off projects, including the realisation of a micro hydro power station in Scalve (Italy), development of a biogas strategy and proposed plant in Suupohja (Finland) and establishment of a limited liability company for a biomass cogenerating plant in Alūksne (Latvia)
  • Development of the ASPIRE tool-kit, providing guidance and information to other aspiring Sustainable Energy Communities. The tool-kit is further enhanced by the creation of the ASPIRE model software, which is available as an interactive resource to support communities wishing to implement the ASPIRE approach to sustainable energy planning
  • Initiation of a dialogue between a wide range of stakeholders at local, regional and EU level in each ASPIRE community and promotion of 'Energy citizenship' within the local population through awareness raising and educational activities

Lessons learned

  • Importance of public authorities in creating the pre-conditions for wider engagement and concrete actions at community level
  • The ASPIRE model can be adapted to a range of scales and environments but the key to success is leadership, demonstrating success and respect for local circumstances
  • Initiatives in this field require long-term commitment beyond the timeframe of the project

Partners and coordinator

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United Kingdom
Contact point: 
Brian Shipman
44 0 1872 322 608


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In brief

01/10/2006 to 31/03/2009
Contract number: 

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