This is a proposal for an interdisciplinary investigation into the potential of investments in energy efficiency and renewable generation to contribute to local development in Italy, with a focus on Italian ‘convergence objective’ regions (i.e. Calabria, Puglia, Sicilia and Campania). The project will consider several types of emerging business models for the implementation of energy measures at local level, their conditions for successful implementation and the relative role and implications for local actors and communities. It will analyse the case of implementing these emerging business models in the specific context of the territories targeted, exploring their appropriateness to respond to wider local communities development objectives and to maximise returns for the communities themselves. As such, the project will pay particular attention at emerging and innovative forms of implementation of community projects. An assessment of the target territory energy demand and generation potential (the energy map) coupled with engagement with the local stakeholders (i.e. local authorities and other public bodies, local communities as well as potential investors and technology suppliers in the private sector) will provide location specific data and information necessary to understand the socio-economic and energy context as well as specific local energy needs. Such information and the relationship developed with the main local stakeholders will be used for the identification of two to three case studies for which a detailed feasibility assessment of the investment in energy efficiency and renewable generation under different business models will be done, with the view of identifying best practice, barriers to implementation and assess replicability potential.
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