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Working Towards Sustainable Energy Communities Throughout Europe (SUNFLOWER)

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SUNFLOWER aims to create the necessary conditions to attract investment in renewable energy projects characterized by a large RES potential but with yet insufficient mass to attract industry. The test regions are Moura (PT), NorthYork (UK), Kilkis (Greece), Sliven (BUL) and various Czech regions. The project will act along three axes: political commitment, market stimulation and environmental awareness. The four main objectives are as follows:
  • Local authorities to trigger interest to build renewable energy powered plants
  • Attract renewable energy industry to the regions and increase the number of business partnerships formed between investors and local (or regional) authorities
  • Train recent graduates or young entrepreneurs in local markets and help to create new enterprises among them
  • Increase the ratio of popular involvement in the project and thus start a long and durable "community energy vision" in line with European energy climate targets.
  • Results

    • After the training,6 trainees created a company in the RESfield and 5 initiated the process of creation.This is a remarkable result considering the economic situation.Ongoing networking between the trainees resulted in 3 students from 2 countries creating a company together -SANFUTURE.This has been disseminated to the trainees in order to encourage future collaboration.One of the goals was to create a network among the trainees:a web social page was created by them to share experiences.
    • 140 local dissemination and ‘special events’ were held during the course of the Project, which represents the ongoing and dedicated effort that all partners put in to education about RES at all levels of society. These events which would not have happened without Sunflower encompass a great variety of events and meetings on topics all related to RES and Sunflower. These events were planned by each Partner but using the unifying theme of Sunflower.
    • Sharing experiences of existing STBP’s(Envipark and Bilbao)has enabled key players to gain knowledge,experience and innovative solutions to problems and stimulated plans to create 2 more,one in in Sliven and one in Litomerice.Litomerice is currently working on a project to develop a geothermal plant which is the starting point for creating a new STBP on RE technologies.It has also helped to developing the PTMoura which already has established companies and a set of solar energy research units.
    • The installation of large, medium and domestic scale electricity generating RES units in the regions of Moura and Sliven and smaller units in the North York Moors with a total of 300 MW (target 10.5 MW) and a planned total investment of 530 M€ (target 35 M€) will be achieved. These investments represent a commitment of the Municipalities to develop energy generation from RES thereby promoting sustainability, regional development, creating employment and boosting the local economy.
    • Many more people than originally envisaged from all levels of society from decision makers to local communities have benefited from the wide dissemination of the Sunflower project results which will remain relevant and available for years to come.
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    Lessons learned

    • The project has been an effective catalyst for fostering collaboration and exchange of good practices among the different actors in the RES sector (such as businesses, local authorities, investors, development agencies, STBPs, universities) which is essential for promoting the part of renewable energy in creating a ‘green economy’ and a sustainable future.
    • Whilst it can be complicated for partners from many different countries to work together, having diverse partners with different skills, backgrounds and remit creates a ‘hybrid vigour’ or ‘synergy’ that has enabled the ‘whole to be greater than the sum of the parts’.
    • A Project of this nature goes through phases of planning, preparation, implementation of tasks, production of outputs and deliverables but then only reaches full value towards the end as it is only then that all the material for dissemination, education and overcoming barriers is completed and made available for dissemination such as training guides, start up manual etc. Therefore it is vital that planning for dissemination beyond the end of the Project is undertaken.
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    Partners and coordinator

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    Contact

    Municipality of Moura (Câmara Municipal de Moura)
    Portugal
    Contact point: 
    Name: 
    Mr António José Martins
    Tel: 
    00351 28 525 42 49

    Budget

    Key documents

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    In brief

    Duration:
    01/09/2008 to 28/02/2011
    Contract number: 
    IEE/07/573/SI2.499463