Governance: what does it mean, and how is ePLANET helping?

The ePLANET project identified best practices of governance structures that optimise the planning and implementation of effective energy & environment policies in Europe. But what is governance exactly? Why is it important? And how can it be improved?

Governance: what does it mean, and how is ePLANET helping?

In a stakeholder forum on the 23rd of November 2022, the new clustering governance objective was elucidated.

Contextualising the EU regulations on the governance of the Energy Union, partners from ICAEN and CRES began by highlighting the current governance structures that define the process for energy transition plans in Europe.

Governance refers to the dispersion of governmental authority across multiple levels (e.g. EU, national, and regional levels) and across multiple actors. This is also known as vertical and horizontal governance, respectively. The concept as a whole reflects the growing interdependence of governmental and non-governmental actors.

Overall, EU institutions have stressed the need for establishing effective multi-level governance structures, emphasising the key role of such structures in the success of European integration. Put simply, there is a real need for a coordinated approach that involves the European Union, the Member States, and local and regional authorities. Without this multi-level cooperation, it is not feasible to plan and implement effective policies.

With this need in mind, ePLANET seeks to improve the structures of governance that determine the delivery of the energy transition. The project aims to:

  • Create an overview and stronger understanding of the current governance framework;
  • Identify best practices, barriers, and lessons learned by different actors;
  • Collaboratively develop improved governance structures and tools, in order to further increase the efficiency of governance to speed up the energy transition.

During the latter stakeholder meeting, Katherina and Eleni (CRES) and Marta and Josep-Maria (ICAEN) went through a comparison of the governance structures of the pilot regions (Zlín region, Girona region, and Crete), before embarking on an analysis of governance structures behind existing EU networks and initiatives. Among others, they discussed: the Covenant of Mayors – Europe initiative, the ENERGee Watch project, and the DAFNI network – which each have their own unique governance structures to learn from.

By reviewing past and ongoing EU and national/regional projects (where one or more of the ePLANET consortium are involved), the stakeholders were able to further highlight different governance structures, methodologies, tools, and digital platforms that can be used to coordinate and monitor energy transition projects.

Best practices of governance structures:

  • Regional level structure for the coordination of the energy transition with the participation of regional and municipal authorities;
  • Energy managers of public buildings;
  • Covenant of Mayors coordinators at the local and regional levels;
  • One-stop-shops for decision-making in energy efficiency projects;
  • Energy communities, with the participation of local/regional councils and citizens;
  • Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) facilitators
  • Energy-Private-Citizen organisational structure (PPCP) for energy governance at the local level;
  • Regional Observatories

Best practices of identified tools, methodologies, and digital platforms

  • An integrated methodology for the development of public buildings’ energy efficiency action plans
  • Regional Energy Renovation of Buildings (ERB) Roadmaps, including investments in energy transition projects inside buildings;
  • Big Data Tool with AI allows making decisions for de-risking investments in ET projects inside buildings;
  • Open-source Big Data reference Architecture for collection, processing, and exchanging data from different sources, with tools for different user levels (general public, data providers)
  • Open-source database for energy efficiency investments performance, monitoring; and benchmarking;
  • Guide to facilitate the implementation of local energy communities
  • Online tool for a pre-check of EPC availability
  • Database of best practice examples of multi-level governance across Europe.

Now that you are excited about the promise of the project, be sure to visit FEDARENE’s ePLANET page for more updates. To ensure you stay in touch, why not sign up for the ePLANET newsletter? For even further information, please visit the project website.

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Check out our synopsis of the previous ePLANET stakeholder forum.