Regions4GreenGrowth Final Conference at Maramures County Council
The Final Conference of the project "Regions for Green Growth " was held today, the 2nd of October 2014 at Maramureş County Council. The aim of the Conference: getting to know the activities and results achieved under the project, the good practices presented by partners, as well as news about the next interregional cooperation programme of the European Commission.
The event welcomed the presence of all the partners involved in the project: the province of Flevolant (NL, leading partner), regions of Norrbotten and Vasternorrland (SE), Prahova, Energy Agency CJ Maramureş, the regions Abruzzo and Lazio (IT), Valencia and Energy Agency Technical Institute for energy (ES), Patras Scientific Park, representing the region of Western Greece (EL), the regional development Centre of Gabrovo (BG), the province of Noord-Brabant (NL), the Assembly of European regions, the Regional Development Agency Eszak-Alfod (HU) and Greater Manchester (UK).
Within the project, the partner regions aimed to identify regional policy instruments, mechanisms and approaches designed to improve access to finance and boost investment in renewable energy. The general objective was to equip the regions with regional policies and instruments to increase access to financing and to speed up the investment in sustainable energy projects.
Present at the works being carried out throughout the day, Maramures County Council President, Zamfir Ciceu spoke about the importance of partnerships in an area so important as energy: “there are a few items worthy of being highlighted in this project: first of all, a very generous partnership in which are involved so many European countries that demonstrate-if it was the case-the importance and concern for a major area such as the energy output. Then the realization that energy solutions must be regarded and dealt with global, large-scale projects within an integrated common vision.
Ambitious objectives proposed under this project were implemented by partners through specific work tools such as: the accumulation and exchange of good practices, analysis concerning the difficulties encountered by each region individually in the process of attracting funding for initiatives in renewable energy, development of joint policies and regional policy instruments for stimulating investments in this area.
The peer review as an expert assessment procedure in the field of energy, promoted as a key instrument in this project has identified as strengths in Maramures: the existence of an agency for Energy Management at county level, a high potential of biomass and good initiatives to add value to them, the use of smart and effective solutions in the rehabilitation of buildings, a large opening towards accessing European funds.
Weak points mentioned were: poor road infrastructure, an electrical network of inferior range, a difficult system for obtaining permits and certification, complicated system of green certificates, the lack of political awareness and of the local community concerning the benefits that may result from the use of renewable energy resources. As regards the inventory of buildings in terms of energy efficiency, Maramures County Council has obtained approval from the Joint Technical Secretariat of INTERREG IVC Programme to use a part of the project budget for carrying out an inventory for public buildings in his patrimony.
Initiatives that can attract the most substantial investment and can generate the greatest reductions in carbon emissions are those in the buildings sector. To initiate a comprehensive rehabilitation program is in need of a study to provide information on the state of the buildings, along with a list of measures to be applied to increase the energy performance of the buildings concerned. The measures will be based on the business models that will analyze several cost-benefit scenarios. The study will enable the development of a list of priorities with the buildings that require urgent interventions and will form the basis for funding requests submitted on structural funds such as the future of the Regional Operational Program. "-said the President of Maramures County Council, Mr. Zamfir Ciceu.
The topics that were addressed by the participants during the Conference focused on the new fundings that will be available under the INTERREG IVC Programme, the current situation and future prospects, the purpose and the main activities of the project Regions 4GreenGrowth, how the peer reviews contributed to the development of the regions, the use of satellite information in sustainable development projects: results of the cooperation between the Eurisy and R4GG.