Created in 2010 by 12 municipalities, the OesteSustentável – Agência Regional de Energia e Ambiente do Oeste (OST), has been representing a commitment towards sustainability for the Portuguese Oeste Region with a mission to actively contribute to the European and national goals within the energy and climate strategy. The OST’s activity has been characterised by a diversified intervention covering the several stages of sustainable energy projects in areas of buildings, traffic and street lighting, renewables, urbanism, green public procurement, sustainable mobility, energy strategy and planning, capacity building and creative education for sustainability.
With more than 100 projects and activities, the Agency has been playing an important role of establishing bridges between different actors and stakeholders, supporting institutions and their members, while identifying environmental issues, energy efficiency and renewable energy opportunities, as well as designing solutions and finding financial mechanisms for implementing them. The Agency implemented more than €31 million in sustainable energy projects through different financing models, attaining around €5 million per year in energy savings and an annual CO2 reduction of around 15,000 tonnes.
Among the various other projects implemented, streetlight OesteLED IP was brought to improve efficiency in public lighting (IP). It was one of the largest IP LED projects in the world, and a pioneer in the intermunicipal financing model, reducing the electricity bill by more than €3 million a year. The replacement of around 68,500 light points with LED technology, reduced electricity consumption by 26.4 GWh per year (around 7,500 homes), and avoided annual emissions of around 10,000 tonnes of CO2.
The Agency, member of FEDARENE since 2020, has been receiving a critical support from this membership particularly through the permanent networking and engagement activities promoted by FEDARENE. PROSPECT and ManagEnergy mentoring programmes, are a few examples, as well as the process of being selected as one of the first Ambassadors for the European Climate Pact in Portugal. All this also triggered the participation of the OST Agency, as a Country Expert in Portugal, in pillar projects such as the European City Facility (EUCF), one of the main European instruments to support the financing of action plans for energy and climate, or other participation for instance in project Living Streets, led by a consortium coordinated by Energy Cities, and financed by EUKI.
This best practice is issued from our publication Sustainable Regions in Action 2022. Read it now to discover many more best practices from FEDARENE members as well as an overview of our activities.