On 30th March 2017 the seven Regional Living Labs working within INTENSSS-PA was gathered in Brussels for the First RLL Committee Meeting. The meeting was held at the EU Office of the Calabria Region.
The meeting aimed at presenting and discussing the planning focus within each RLL (targeted planning efforts), including exchanging know-how and experience between the countries and regions involved.
The Regional Living Lab of Castilla y León in Spain is focusing on integrating local bioenergy resources into the energy system and based on a model of district heating projects in urban areas. District heating is a relatively new area in Spain while “colder” countries like for example Denmark have had district heating since the 1920s. 65% of the heating demand in Denmark is met by DH.
The Karditsa Region in Greece has also a relatively high bioenergy potential. Therefore, the primary focus within the RLL of Karditsa will be strategic planning related to a higher exploitation of local biomass resources, and which is expected to have a significant economic impact on the economic development in the region.
The Zemgale region in Latvia has a target to increase the share of RES in energy production up to 40%, to improve energy efficiency per 20% and to implement at least 10 initiatives at regional level for the achievement of these two goals by 2020. In this context the main activities of the Latvian RLL will be on planning the use of alternative energy sources for sustainable green transport.
In the italian region Calabria there is an increasing trend in energy efficiency of public buildings and energy savings from street lighting. 38.5% of energy consumption is met by production from renewable energy sources, compared with a target of 27.1% in 2020. There is still an unexploited high RES potential in the thermal sector.
The Slovenian Pomurje Region will prepare an action plan covering the whole energy sector. A high RES potential is also evident in the Slovenia, including from hydro power and biomass resources. Therefore, one of the main focuses will be increasing the energy dependency by further RES exploitation, including utilising the hydro potential of the Mura River. Energy efficiency in public buidings is another main focus.
In Groningen in Netherlands a roadmap has been set in scene for the Region to become CO2 neutral in 2035, The Dutch RLL will therefore not be about developing a new energy plan, but more to learn about new co-operative working forms with new stakeholders. The RLL should help to to accelerate projects and to get projects from pilot-phase to action.
Also in the Triangle Region in Denmark there are ambitous plans to follow. All of the four municipalities (Middelfart, Vejle, Kolding Fredericia) involved have developed spatial plans and strategic energy plans in relation to the national target of basing all energy in Denmark on 100% RES in 2050. Some Danish municpalities have planned to be CO2 neutral long before 2050. The Danish RLL will focus on strengthening the cooperation between the municipalities in the Triangle Region by working on joint actions that can support the actual implementation of the national and municipal visions and targets. A particular focus is heat pump projects in rural areas.