Karditsa Region with 113,000 inhabitants is part of the Region of Thessaly. Its name is derived from its capital Karditsa, a city of approximately 40,000 people.
Karditsa Regional Unit of Thessaly has been selected as an indicative case study for the case of Greece due to its peculiarities. Specifically, the intensive and productive agricultural sector contributes significantly to the creation of the local GVA leading to a high potential of biomass for energy production.
Simultaneously, the region of Thessaly is considered generally as a low-income region, as characterized by one of the lowest values of GDP per capita in Greece, and the integrated energy spatial planning constitutes a challenge for the integration of social aspects aiming at the alleviation of the adverse impacts of the economic recession.
Energy and Spatial Planning in Greece
In Greece, the appropriate legislative framework has been established regarding the concept and principles of sustainable development. Specifically, Law 2508/1997 “Sustainable Urban Development of Cities and Towns” constituted the statutory basis to link urban planning to the principles of sustainable development, while the Law 2742/1999 “Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development” introduced the notion of sustainable development at the level of regional and national spatial planning.
The latter enacted the elaboration of the so-called Spatial “Frameworks” at the national and regional levels such as the framework for Renewable Energy Sources, which specified criteria for their penetration allowing their harmonious incorporation into the natural and built environment. Moreover, the provisions of the Special Framework should –with no exception- be incorporated into and specified by the more detailed proposals of the General Urban Plans, usually at the level of municipality. A recent -2014- reform of the spatial planning legislation in Greece modified the types of plans at the urban planning level mainly, initiating the Local Spatial Plans and disestablishing the General Urban Plans. For the case of energy efficiency no synergy has been identified with spatial planning, while another problem constitutes the lack of a coordination mechanism for the monitoring of energy efficiency policies among national, regional and local level.