COMPOSE (Rural Communities Engaged with Positive Energy) is a three-year Interreg MED project that worked on increasing the share of renewable energy sources in the local energy strategies and mix in the Mediterranean rural areas and islands. It provides a new holistic approach for RES planning models through the development of supply chains and the enhancement of local businesses, taking into account not only technical, but also socio-economic and environmental aspects.
The COMPOSE model has been tested by implementing 15 demonstration actions in 11 Mediterranean regions: Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain). The pilot actions have been carried out by the project partners to provide concrete examples of the potential for energy savings and local development offered by energy efficiency and renewable energy, ultimately reducing energy poverty in the involved regions.
In Croatia, the COMPOSE project was represented by the Regional Energy Agency North supported by the Koprivnica-krizevci County. The region is characterised by significant dependence on fossil fuels (especially natural gas) and relatively high energy usage both in private and public sectors. The project focused on public buildings that could be viewed as a role model for the private sector.
Joining the experience and know-how of the partnership, REA North has implemented a pilot action in the Koprivnica-krizevci County based on the local Energy Investment Plan (EIP). The objective was to achieve GHG emission reduction through energy savings and increased use of RES. Several meetings with stakeholders were organised, taking into consideration not just technological aspects of planned energy savings measures or introduction of renewable sources, but also socio-economic aspects, adding value to the communities as whole.
The EIP also improved multi-level governance in the County, one of the main challenges to achieve scalability of projects. Using diverse financial models is the innovative praxis, available for smaller, rural municipalities. Projects identified in the EIP are based on sectoral approach i.e. aggregation of the similar projects in terms of technology, size, target groups etc. All projects contribute to GHG emission reduction, to an improvement in the quality of life in the region and greater energy independence. Implemented activities include the establishment of strong cooperation with local authorities. EIP proposes multiplying-effect actions, e.g. light pollution reduction, improved working environment, creation of new jobs, etc. Along with the preparation of the EIP, REA North identified investment into two small PV plants as a very useful and appropriate activity that builds on and adds value to the Energy Investment Plan. This activity enabled REA North to capitalize on implemented activities and test/prove/showcase similar investments for the entire public sector.
Read the project brochure to know more about the project and discover the other pilot actions. For more information on the COMPOSE project and the Croatian local pilot action, you can also contact the Regional Energy Agency North, Jurica Perko, email@example.com.