INTENSSS-PA project is funded under the 2015 call of HORIZON 2020 Programme. The objective of INTENSSS-PA is to develop and implement a human and institutional capacity building process related to sustainable energy planning and energy projects implementation addressed to public authorities and societal stakeholders in order to support them to enter in a new era of integrated sustainable energy planning through a participatory, a multi-level (i.e. organizations form different level of governance, adjacent areas), interdisciplinary (i.e. interrelated sectors and skills) decision making process.
To achieve this aim, INTENSSS-PA has attempted to implement a capacity building environment that goes beyond training by involving experiential learning based on active inclusion of alternative expertise (spatial design, institutional design, process management, energy, etc.). To develop such a capacity building process INTENSSS-PA applied the Living Lab (LL) concept on the regional level. In particular within the scope of INTENSSS-PA, LLs are defined as emerging citizens-public-private partnerships in which private sector, public authorities, universities, institutes and the civil society work together to create, experiment and evaluate new innovative approaches and institutional innovation related to integrated sustainable energy planning. Regional Living Lab ecosystem will bring together regional energy related planning requirements push (top-down requirements) and energy and sustainability society’s needs pull (bottom-up needs) into diversity of views, constraints and knowledge sharing that sustains.
The Holistic Energy Planning Environment that INTENSSS-PA aims to develop, evaluate and exploit is graphically represented in the figure on the right side. As illustrated, further to the RLL collaborative environment that includes all range of stakeholders and the civil society (i.e. quadruple helix approach), the concept involves the provision of structured expert support that involves: (i) a technical facilitator within each RLL, (ii) an interdisciplinary group of experts in order to develop methodological tools and guidelines and (iii) a web based information platform that will provide access to a data-base of practice that includes training materials and case-studies that can be supportive and inspirational to the RLLs. This environment safeguards and pushes the operation of newly established RLLs and facilitates dramatically the operation of existing ones.
INTENSSS-PA Web-based Information Platform’s Database of Practice provides in a structured way the existing knowledge (i.e. case-studies, training materials, methods, etc.) related to the integration of energy as a theme into spatial planning and physical and socio-economic landscapes that has been identified through a systematic review within INTENSSS-PA project and the INTENSSS-PA outcomes. The aim of the INTENSSS-PA Information Platform is fourfold:
Two major functionalities are foreseen within INTENSSS-PA Information Platform: The first functionality (External Exploitation) focuses on the exploitation of the training materials and case studies outside of the INTENSSS-PA project, as collected within the project and through a systematic review, analysis and recording process. The available data can be identified using four different types of searching; by: the country of origin, specific keywords, various keywords (open search) and pre-specified topics. It should be highlighted that potential information about case studies in specific regions (either in NUTS-2 or in lower administrative level) can be retrieved utilizing both the searching options of Countries and Open Search with the prerequisite that the corresponding information is available.
The second functionality (Internal Exploitation) intends to the exploitation of the produced materials within the framework of INTENSSS-PA project. In particular, the aim of the second functionality is to act as a simplified Decision Support System fostering the potential user to utilize both of the developed methodological approach and the produced materials for the seven involved regions. The intention of the database is to increase the possibilities for methodology’s replication from other regions in EU level. In addition, INTENSSS-PA has performed a clustering analysis of European Regions on NUTS-2 level in relation to their physical and socio-economic characteristics and the level of energy development; capitalizing on this analysis the Platform provides the capacity to each European region in NUTS-2 analysis of retrieving the information for the INTENSSS-PA regions, which belong to the same formulated cluster. This feature not only exemplifies or inspires regions for integrated energy planning but actually provides the detailed implementation of INTENSSS-PA for immediate replication by a region with similar characteristics.
The database currently consists of 134 case studies and 189 technical materials (i.e. methodologies, tools, presentations, etc.) related to integrated sustainable energy planning. The database is continuously enhanced with INTENSSS-PA outputs and other related materials identified and used while the project is evolving.
The database also provide an extra functionality, i.e. a mechanism related to the submission of case-studies and other related technical materials from authors outside INTENSSS-PA, that will be publicized after peer review and approval by the administrator of INTENSS-PA Platform’s Database of Practice.
INTENSSS-PA web-based platform is available at this link: http://intensss.bpm.com.gr/
Article prepared by BPM