ALTERENERGY project improves sustainable energy capacities in small Adriatic communities

Capacity building for integrating sustainable energy practices in small municipalities in the Adriatic region in support of EU climate and energy objectives

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Promotional poster for the Alterenergy initiative.  © Servizio Mediterraneo della Regione Puglia Promotional poster for the Alterenergy initiative. © Servizio Mediterraneo della Regione Puglia

The ALTERENERGY project aims to promote sustainable energy in small Adriatic municipalities in order to improve their capacity to plan and manage energy saving and the production of energy from renewable resources. As part of this objective, the ALTERENERGY (Energy Sustainability for Adriatic Small Communities) strategic project works within 63 small communities selected to take part in eight countries: Albania, Bosnia–Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia. 

Promoting integrated systems

To achieve its goal, the project takes an integrated approach towards energy efficiency rather than simply promoting the use of one single technology. The approach also discourages the adoption of expensive and complex technology within small communities. Instead the idea is to utilise resources that are already available in each community, creating a collaborative environment and forming partnerships. The long-term goal is to develop sustainable models for energy savings and development that can be replicated. 

Implementing pilot projects

The project locates pilot projects in the communities with populations of less than 10 000 people. Fitting with the collaborative approach, the programme forms connections between local entrepreneurs at small and medium-sized businesses to implement them, thereby developing ‘micro-solutions’ within a community. These projects include technological innovations such as efficient heating and infrastructure work. They also combine social, cultural, tourism, educational, and commercial aspects to increase awareness about renewable energy. Theatre programmes and workshops for children or an interactive quiz game, for example, are just some of the best practices that help to inform local residents about energy policies and operations. 

Through these varied activities, the project develops replicable models of sustainable management of energy resources. Planning tools for future energy projects, signed agreements on sustainable energy action plans, and feasibility studies for the realisation of specific energy efficiency initiatives are just a few of the concrete examples from the project. 

Through knowledge sharing, technologies, and financial instruments, the Adriatic community can create a strong partnership for renewable energy. Through this partnership and a series of specific business support activities developed within the ALTERENERGY project, investments and innovation in the area will rise. The hope is that those who participate in the project partnership will go on to work with other public and private organisations so that the project’s vision of sharing replicable solutions lives on.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “ALTERENERGY (Energy Sustainability for Adriatic Small Communities)” is EUR 12 500 000, of which the EU’s Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance Fund is contributing EUR 10 199 660 from the Operational Programme “IPA Adriatic Cross-Border Cooperation” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period. 

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