Sustainable Energy Communities NEWS
come2CoM news from Austria, UK, Denmark and Germany
Author: Katrin JULLIEN, come2CoM Project Coordinator (2010-11), Germany / Meike LÖHR, come2CoM Project Coordinator (2011-2012), Beratungs- und Service-Gesellschaft Umwelt mbH, Germany - Email
Bregenz, the capital of the province of Vorarlberg joins the Covenant of Mayors Bregenz is the first of the 9 capitals of the Austrian provinces to joins the Covenant of Mayors (CoM). This step perfectly goes hand in hand with the ongoing e5 (European Energy Award) process, says the mayor of Bregenz. Joining the CoM means that the current process will be enhanced by the preparation of a Baseline Emission Inventory and a SEAP as well as by the regularly publication of implementation reports. The formal commitment to go beyond the EU objectives in terms of CO2 emission reduction and the possibility of sharing expertise with cities on the national and international level is seen as big advantage of the CoM. The Mayor also believes that the CoM initiative will foster town twinnings activities based on the exchange of local energy policy and help Bregenz get more independent from fossil fuels.
Cardiff is the capital city of Wales and has approximately 330,000 inhabitants. Cardiff Council is about to submit a first draft of their Baseline Emissions Inventory (BEI) and Sustainable Energy Action plan (SEAP) to COMO. The SEAP is due at the end of April 2011 and marks 1 years since the authority signed up to the Covenant of Mayors (COM) meeting the first requirement of the Covenant.
The Cardiff Carbon Lite action plan on which the SEAP has been based is available at on the Cardiff website. Support in developing the BEI and the SEAP has been provided by Severn Wye Energy Agency, the UK come2CoM partner, under the come2COM project – see www.swea.co.uk/COM for further information.
This will be the first SEAP prepared by a Welsh local authority and it is hoped that many other authorities in the country will follow this lead and commit to taking action on climate change and helping to meet the EU wide 202020 targets of 20% improvement in energy efficiency, 20% contribution from renewable energy and 20% reduction in CO2 emissions.
Showing different tools for local and regional energy planning and their positive effects was the topic of a regional conference organised by the Regional Energy Agency of Southeast Sweden (ESS) in one of the municipalities of the county of Kronoberg. The conference was one of the 5 events each project partner organises to promote the Covenant of Mayors. As financing of sustainable energy measures is a big issue for almost every municipality, ESS also provided information on national co-financing for energy efficiency initiatives.
The joint enrollment of 14 municipalities in Region Zealand marked a milestone of CoM in Denmark. These municipalities proceed nicely on SEAP development, supported by the regional authority and University of Roskilde. The come2CoM efforts are oriented towards encouraging municipalities in west Denmark (Funen and Jutland) to take similar steps. The municipalities in Region Central Denmark, already in the process of developing SEAPs, are in a good position to join CoM. And in north Jutland the municipality of Frederikshavn has just decided to join CoM as the first signatory in the region.
Frederikshavn has a goal of becoming 100% green already by 2015 as it can be seen via this EC video.
come2CoM will help municipalities in fulfilling the CoM requirements, including making use of the experience gained in Region Zealand and other places around Europe.
come2CoM support in Germany has been focused on small CoM municipalties being committed to climate protection, but lacking technical capacities and professional language skills to develop the SEAP by their own. A thesaurus list provided by B.&S.U. mbh (come2CoM coordinator and German project partner) and helping translate energy actions into English was thus very appreciated by local authorities.
Cities in the Bundesland “Nordrhein-Westfalen” are benefiting from the licence for the EcoRegion tool purchased by the government of the Bundeland which can be used by all cities and municipalities in the region. EcoRegion is recognised by the European Commission as an efficient tool to set up a baseline emission inventory, required for the implementation of the CoM. By working with EcoRegion, the SEAP template can be created in seconds. The Energy Agency of Nordrhein-Westfalen as being subcontracted by B.&S.U. mbH supports CoM cities in its area in setting-up the baseline emission inventory.