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Online tools for SMEs and public sector to better adopt renewable energy sources

An EU-funded initiative has introduced a search engine and a repository to gather data, share information, and match the needs of public procurers and SMEs in embracing renewable energy sources (RESs).

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Green public procurement (GPP) is a system where public sector organisations use their purchasing power to choose environmentally friendly goods, services and works that can greatly contribute to sustainable consumption and production. GPP will play a key role in the EU’s efforts to become a more resource-efficient economy. Enter the EU-funded XPRESS project that is supporting public procurement to facilitate cooperation between SMEs and the public sector for RES adoption across the EU. To achieve its goal, the project has launched a search engine enabling SMEs to access tenders related to RESs and a database containing previous RES calls for tenders intended for public authorities keen on adopting RES technologies through GPP.

One-stop shop for all things RES

The search engine enables “users to find the most recent calls for tenders published on Tenders Electronic Daily (TED), according to a tailored set of CPV codes (contract topics), keywords, deadline, country and type of document,” according to a news item on the ‘Energy Global’ website. The database encourages “public buyers to implement Green Public Procurement with a set of more than 3900 SME-friendly tenders embracing RES published from 2016 to 2018, stored in an online database on [the] XPRESS platform.” All old tenders can be searched based on keywords, common procurement vocabulary code, budget range, year and country. The news item further explains: “The two tools combined are meant to increase demand and supply sides of RES technologies across the EU, as a result of research performed by the XPRESS Consortium based on 2015 and 2017 Flash Innobarometer and Eurobarometer datasets; TED dataset; EUROSTAT dataset on LCA; a survey to be launched on the XPRESS portal; XPRESS co-creation workshops and more than 20 case studies. Within the XPRESS portal, public procurers will discover RES technologies and solutions they were not aware of and SMEs will be able to enter new markets and offer their innovative solutions to public authorities.” The XPRESS (Support for Public Procurements to facilitate the collaboration between SMEs and public sector for the development and adoption in renewables in regions) project will run until August 2022. It aims “to facilitate the introduction of innovative RES technologies and increase the share of renewable energy in the final energy consumption,” as stated on CORDIS. The project will also “demonstrate the positive impact of innovative GPPs on cities and municipalities and SMEs in terms of energy savings, energy efficiency and lower carbon emissions.” According to the project website, XPRESS “is mapping the low carbon energy needs of European cities and municipalities, analysing perceived and actual barriers to investments in RES innovations and is developing new methodologies to evaluate the financial, economic and environmental impact of RES technologies. It will also develop financial tools to support the use of green technologies in European regions and municipalities.” Other objectives include “collecting good practices of financing tools for innovative renewable technologies, focusing particularly on green procurement policies.” For more information, please see: XPRESS project website

Keywords

XPRESS, green public procurement, SME, public sector, renewable energy sources