Renewable energy can make a significant contribution to Europe's energy needs within the next 15 years. However its dissemination calls for new approaches to the energy supply and use since the technologies are small scale and local. The SPEAR project will set up a methodology for such an approach - the aim of the proposed project is to develop a framework for the integration of renewable energy into regions by preparing implementation plans that draws upon a variety of disciplines (energy specialists, planners, policy makers, financiers etc). This approach will involve local authorites and communities integrally in the process of identifying, and then planning and managing their own resources to their own benefit.
The main output will be the creation of a framework for accelerating the penetration of renewable energy in local communities, hence the rate of growth of renewables within the European Union. This framework will be tested in six regions of the EU, so a further output will be renewable energy implementation plans for designated regions. These plans can then be used for actual implementation in these regions (for example under RTD4). The methodologies resulting from this project will have the potential to be replicated throughout Europe.
The project will used an energy cost-benefit analysis model (SAFIRE), developed for DGXII, to assess the impact of renewable energy on local economic indicators such as employment, air pollution, value added etc. The project team comprises of energy analysts, planners, community workers, local authority workers from 6EU countries. The team will work together to develop a methodology that uses the SAFIRE output to develop regional integration plans for renewable energy. The team will work side by side with community representatives (eg industrialist, farmers etc) from the selected regions to develop the renewable energy plans and carry out feasibility studies for initial projects. The team will use the SAFIRE result to demonstrate the local benefits of a renewable energy strategy. Financiers and utility representatives will be brought in to ensure that the projects are workable.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
BT4 2JP Belfast