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Midland Energy Agency set to share experiences with European Counterparts

Published: 1st October 2012

Midland Energy Agency set to share experiences with European Counterparts through a EUROPEAN PROJECT STEP, FOCUSED ON THE “IMPROVEMENT OF SUSTAINABLE ENERGY POLICY TOOLS IN LOCAL GOVERNMENTS”, IN WHICH 9 PARTNERS FROM 6 EUROPEAN COUNTRIES PARTICIPATE

The STEP project was approved for funding last year in the INTERREG IVC call and it will receive 1.2 million euro in funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The STEP project aims to improve the sustainable energy tools at local level. It has nine partners from six European countries: “STRIA" South Transdanubian Regional Innovation Agency Non-for-profit Ltd (Hungary); Kainuun Etu Ltd (Finland); Saxon Energy Agency (Germany); the Energy Management Agency from Murcia (Spain); the Environmental Development Company from Aragon (Spain); Arleg S.S. Regional Development Agency (Poland); Midland Regional Authority and Mid-West Regional Authority (both from Ireland) and the Local Government of Mohács (Hungary).

The STEP Project will be developed in the period 2012-2014. It will receive 1.2 million euro funding from the ERDF. It focuses on the exchange of experiences among the partner regions and aims to identify problems and develop good practice guides to improve local sustainable energy policy tools.

The main aims of the STEP project are:
• To create a set of regional good practices that may help to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions,
• To increase the amount of renewable energy consumed in project partners regions,
• To boost the implementation of policies that may contribute to achieving the EU objectives 20-20-20, and
• To support territorial cohesion among participant regions according to European policies on energy and climate change by promoting energy self-sufficiency and energy diversification.

The specific objectives of the project are:
• To improve national, regional and local policies on sustainable energy;
• To exchange and transfer practical actions at political level;
• To create an inter-regional global political Guide on sustainable energy at local level and energy management systems;
• To support the execution of sustainable energy actions by means of the identification of the most suitable funding possibilities;
• To promote good practice transfer on interregional development policy through the preparation of specific implementation plans in each of the participant regions;
• To develop and strengthen the capacities of local authorities in sustainable planning and implementation; and
• To boost subsidiarity and cooperation among the different decision-making levels (local, regional, national).

Sharing regional experiences to promote the role of regions in sustainable energy policies.

The STEP project is structured in 3 groups: management and coordination, communication and dissemination, and exchange of experiences with the aim to identify and analyze good practices.

The first group is led by “STRIA" South Transdanubian Regional Innovation Agency Non-for-profit Ltd in Hungary. The second group is led by the Environmental Development Company (Spain) and the third Group is led by Kainuun Etu Ltd in Finland.

The working system of these groups consists in the identification of good practices in each project partner region. These good practices will be gathered in an extranet, where all project partners will be able to learn about them and get in touch with the rest of project partners to learn about the implementation of the good practices. Once project partners have identified the good practices of their interest, further cooperation will be carried out by means of bilateral sessions and e-learning sessions.

The Midland Energy Agency, based in Laois County Council will assist the Midland Regional Authority in delivering this project.

For further information, please contact Triona Casey, Assistant Engineer, Midland Energy Agency on 057 86 74349 or Sarah Morgan, Midland Regional Authority, 057 93 52996 www.steproject.eu
 

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