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Leadership for Energy Action and Planning (LEAP)

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The LEAP project helped meet the European Union’s challenging climate change targets for 2020 by building the capacity of EU local authorities as key actors in speeding up the local uptake of sustainable energy measures and the move towards a low-carbon economy. It did this via a process of direct exchange of experience in sustainable energy action planning and implementation between local authorities, focusing on professional and political leadership, skills and knowledge, creating clear policy messages and gaining community and stakeholder support.


  • LEAP activities triggered following results: Cumulative investment in sustainable energy of €610,230,000 RES production triggered in the order of 472,165 MWh Primary energy savings of 560,739 MWh Reduction of GHG of 722,063 tCO2eq/year
  • LEAP has increased awareness, knowledge and commitment for sustainable energy action within participating local authorities. Tangible proof was here the increase of staff and resources deployed for sustainable energy related matters within local authorities, more cross-departmental collaboration and coordination and the high participation of local authorities' staff.
  • LEAP has been able to achieve an increase in partner authority resource (staff and investment) allocated to SEAP implementation, e.g. Hannover reported that there are two new staff members working in their team on sustainable energy. South Dublin reported that this has increased by 80%; Maribor reported an increase of 30%; Zagreb reported a 40% increase in staff resource and a 12% increase in financing.
  • Overall the project engaged 446 local politicians in SEAP development and actions. 6 staff training programmes were implemented involving 786 staff members in the participating authorities.
  • The LEAP project successfully developed a sophisticated peer learning methodology comprising a combination of three elements: shadowing visits, peer review and mentoring. In total, 660 local authority ‘learning’ partner staff hours were spent on work shadowing. 884 local authority partner staff hours were spent on mentoring exchange between partners. 1488 local authority partner staff hours were spent on Peer to Peer working of which 906 local authority hours were on SEAP peer reviews.

Lessons learned

  • In particular, participants found the peer review of SEAPs extremely helpful. Experiences and lessons learnt are explained in the "LEAP Institutionalisation Report" and the "LEAP knowledge bank" which are available on the project website.
  • For future peer learning projects the designation of authorities as either ‘experienced’ or ‘learning’ impeded the partnership from gaining more out of the relationships that emerged over the lifespan of the project.
  • Mentoring, work-shadowing and peer-to-peer activities with other LEAP partners was a powerful learning tool that assisted local authorities with their SEAP production and provided inspiration for the action plan.

Partners and coordinator

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Town and Country Planning Association
United Kingdom
Contact point: 
Smith Diane
Diane Smith
+44 (0)20 7930 8903


In brief

18/05/2011 to 18/11/2013
Contract number: 

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