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Energy efficiency of industrial parks through energy cooperation and mutualised energy services


Proposals should improve the energy efficiency of industrial parks (or neighbouring businesses) by unlocking the market potential for energy cooperation and by supporting the demand and offer of mutualised high-quality energy services.

Proposals should address at least one of the following aspects:

  • implementation of energy cooperation between businesses: develop and test instruments facilitating the actual implementation of energy cooperation between businesses (e.g. setting appropriate process and business organisation, operation and plant design, cooperation mechanisms, related contractual and financial arrangements, better planning of industrial parks, good practices, etc.). Proposals should include related capacity building issues: increasing the skills and engagement of companies, via e.g. their CEOs and CFOs, energy managers and other related stakeholders to identify and accelerate the development of energy cooperation;
  • implementation of joint energy services: develop and test replicable business models and service concepts for joint energy services provided by ESCO or other relevant third party (e.g. identification of horizontal energy services attractive for businesses, identification of the most relevant innovative technical solutions, setting contractual and financial arrangements, good practices to engage companies in mutualised energy services, cost-calculation and cost-reduction models, etc.). Proposals should include related capacity building issues in order to increase the skills, know-how and specific expertise of ESCOs or other relevant third party to boost the market for joint contracting energy services in industrial parks.

Proposals should address legal issues in order to adapt regulatory and legal frameworks at the local, regional and national context. Proposals should also have a cross-cutting perspective and a strong communication and dissemination component to reach as many industries, industrial parks manager and ESCOs as possible and to break the industrial cultural perception of mutualised energy services and energy cooperation.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 and 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Energy represents an important part of enterprises' production costs even for non-energy intensive industries, and the availability of affordable, easy to access, energy services is one of the key business development enabler and competitiveness factor. Industrial parks play an important role in the European economy and the improvement of their energy efficiency is the main challenge of this topic. Optimising their energy efficiency can be obtained by stimulating and facilitating energy cooperation among businesses. Such cooperation can be done via clustering buildings and processes, by energy exchange, collective production and joint contracting of mutualised energy services. However, there are a number of barriers that hinder the development of energy cooperation of neighbouring businesses. These barriers are mostly organisational, financial, legal, social and technical.

The use of joint contracting of mutualised energy services is a promising model for industrial parks, especially when businesses are not energy intensive and when they don't have the time, expertise and financial resources to develop such energy cooperation. In that sense, energy services companies have a role to play in providing businesses with high-value services in the form of e.g. heating, electricity, cooling, to master a modern, environmentally friendly, renewable based and energy efficient system in industrial parks relying on the latest technologies and solutions (e.g. highly efficient, renewable and waste/residual recovery based systems, demand response, energy cascades).

Proposed actions are expected to demonstrate the impacts listed below (wherever possible, use quantified indicators and targets), depending on the scope of the proposal:

  • Primary energy savings triggered by the project (in GWh/year per million Euro of EU funding);
  • Deployment of replicable energy concept with the goal to increase the competitiveness of enterprises;
  • Deployment of replicable business models and market offer for joint contracting energy services for industrial parks;
  • Number of companies/ESCOs/energy managers and other market stakeholders with increased skills/capability/competencies (to be measured in number of people with increased capacity);
  • Policies and legal frameworks created/adapted to facilitate energy cooperation among businesses at all governance levels (to be measured in Number of citations / statements from governance bodies).