Marco-regional strategies (MRS) provide a framework for cooperation, coordination and consultation between and within regions and states. The EU Strategy for the Alpine Region is the fourth macro-region in the European Union and was adopted by the European Council in 2015. Since 2016, the Energy Agency South Tyrol-CasaClima co-leads in collaboration with the Energy and Environment Agency Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, EUSALP Action Group 9 that has the mission to make the Alpine territory a model region for energy efficiency and renewable energy.
The implementation of energy efficiency measures is a key element to reach Europe’s energy and climate targets 2030. With its policy framework “Clean Energy for all Europeans”, the EU member states agreed to raise energy efficiency by at least 32,5%. The economy plays a key role in reaching these energy efficiency targets: (1) Enterprises need to develop ever more energy efficient products that comply with minimum energy efficiency standards and labelling targets (Ecodesign), thereby supporting the roll-out of Europe’s Green Economy that attracts investment, creates jobs and saves consumers’ money through energy savings. (2) Large companies are obliged to conduct energy audits to determine energy saving potentials. (3) The Energy Efficiency Directive encourages EU member states to implement accompanying and voluntary energy efficiency programmes for SMEs to make better use of energy saving potentials.
SME’s make up about 95% of the Alpine economy, Therefore, the roll-out of initiatives to increase their energy efficiency is attractive from an energy saving point of view. Several national and regional programmes were launched in the Alpine area to support enterprises to implement energy efficiency measures. EUSALP Action Group 9, seeks to establish further supporting mechanisms to enhance energy efficiency measures for the SME sector in the EUSALP making the topic a “strategic initiative” of the group for the next 3-year period. EUSALP Action Group 9 will establish an experts’ network to facilitate the exchange of god practices between existing energy efficiency programmes for SME’s in the Alpine area that, at a later stage will assist those PA’s and sectoral agencies in the Alpine area that have not yet implemented programmes to accompany SME’s in the implementation of energy efficiency measures. EUSALP Action Group 9 launched the initiative with a strategic event on 20-21 March 2019 in Bolzano under the patronage of the Italian Presidency 2019. During the event, decision-makers, stakeholders and multipliers with expertise in the field of energy efficiency in enterprises gathered. The goal of the event was to define a roadmap and a matrix of activities for the establishment of the transregional experts’ network for energy efficiency in enterprises in the period 2019-2021. EUSALP Action Group 9 is now working towards the implementation of the network.
The event was realized in the frame of the Alpine Space project "Implementing Alpine Governance Mechanisms of the European Strategy for the Alpine Region (AlpGov) and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Alpine Space programme.
Picture source: Photo by Riccardo Annandale on Unsplash
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