Read how EREN, the Castilla y León Energy Agency, works towards a better stakeholders engagement in the field of Renewable Energy Sources.
The APPROVE (Advancing Public Participation and stakeholdeR engagement fOr the improVement of renewable Energy policies) project aims at tackling barriers to Renewable Energy Sources (RES) development. The identified barriers are: a low level of knowledge in the general public; a lack of expertise of RES proponents and civil servants dealing with permitting procedures, and issues of public opposition within approval procedures. In line with the revised Renewable Energy Directive, it especially focuses on awareness raising, capacity building and stakeholder participation as ways to enable and promote RES.
The partnership is composed by 3 regional authorities : Lapland In Finland, Normandy in France and Epirus in Greece ; 1 regional energy entity: Ente Regional de la Energía de Castilla y León (EREN) , and a research centre (as advisory partner): Poliedra research center. The project is implemented on the territory of 5 member states.
The project aims at improving 4 Structural Funds operational programmes with the aim to promote RES development, considering investment priorities related to TO4 “Supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy in all sectors”, and addressing regional innovation strategies for smart specialisation. Through interregional cooperation, the territorial partners will identify, share and transfer good practices to improve the policy instruments (check out the Report, gathering several Best Practices developped in the Partners Countries bellow). The development of this project is carried out through exchange sessions of good practices, work meetings, promotionnal events, or technical visits. Overall, the goal is to implement an action plan to overcome the barriers to renewable energy in the four participating European regions.
Several initatives have been implemented by the Partners of the Project such as for example:
The Castilla y León Region, involved in the project through EREN, the Regional Agency of the Region, aimed at going further in its global strategy and the development of the use of renewable energy sources. Indeed, the Region is the first Spanish Autonomous Community in renewable energy production with 22% of the national total. The Renewable Thermal Strategy 2020-2030 was launched at national level, in order to promote the development of clean energy, especially betting on the development of energy production based on biomass as a renewable fuel. The leadership of the Castilla y León Community in renewable energy production has also been possible thanks to the development of the Bioenergy Plan 2011-2020, promoting the use of different bioenergy sources: electrical and thermal especially.
In the framework of the project, several initiaves were implemented in the Region, such as the organization of workshop on RES subsidies, the organization of a professional fair in the biomass sector, or the design of an ambitious Public Private Partnership in order to attract promoters` investment for installing a 50 MWe biomass plant.
The project started in 2018 and will continue until 2022, with a total budget of €1,175,632.00, for which 85% are funded under the INTERREG Europe Program.