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Act Now! Newsletter 03/2019

Upcoming Events
March, 2nd-4th 2020, Kalmar (SWE): Steering Committee Meeting and Partner Meeting
June, 8th-11th 2020, Ylivieska, (FI): Steering Committee Meeting and Partner Meeting
September 2020, GER (tbc): 3rd Transnational Conference & final Steering Committee Meeting

Climate conference in Sonderborg: Frightening prospects, but constructive climate solutions
The '100% Climate Neutrality' conference at Alsion in Sonderborg attracted over 250 participants from all over Europe. International researchers presented alarming facts about the climate crisis and its consequences, but nevertheless, the guests were able to go home with a good feeling , because the conference also showed that we already have ready many of the solutions to the climate challenges the world faces.

Some of Europe's sharpest climate brains were gathered in Sønderborg during the week to focus sharply on the galloping climate crisis. And even though we had to imagine the worst when facts and consequences were presented, both guests and attendees at the conference could leave with a green hope for the future - researchers presented a number of solutions that can prevent the consequences and, among other things, improve energy efficiency and resource use. “A good example is that with a slightly technical term we call 'energy payback time', which is the time that goes by before the element has produced the energy it took to produce it. For organic solar cells, which we are researching here at SDU Sønderborg, that time is now down to 3-4 weeks”, says one of the organizers of the conference, Horst-Günter Rubahn, head of the Mads Clausen Institute.

The young people made their way to the conference
The conference acquired contributions from leading researchers and representatives from the projects CITIES, Act Now!, RollFlex, PE: Region, Energibyerne.dk and also invited the ambitious youth climate council from cities in Denmark, Latvia and Germany.
“In this context, I would like to highlight the Youth Climate Council, which brought vitality into the conference that we have not experienced before.It is basically their future, we are fighting for”, says Horst-Günter Rubahn.

The young people took the stage at the conference's final panel discussion, which emphasized that they do not want to point fingers at anybody or blame previous generations, but instead will reach out and call for close cooperation and common action against the world's climate problems. Thus, the tone was different than when the icon and Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg took the pulpit at the UN Climate Summit in New York last month, accusing the world's top leaders of stealing her dreams and childhood. But the seriousness and commitment were the same.

Bringing conclusions to Copenhagen
Sønderborg's ProjectZero vision aims to reduce the Sønderborg area's CO2 emissions to around zero as early as 2029 and at the same time create new skills and green jobs in the companies. ProjectZero's director Peter Rathje, as a co-organizer, is also happy and proud of the climate conference and its conclusions: "Sønderborg and its partners in CITIES, Energibyerne.dk and Act Now! projects have been running for many years. The conference confirmed that ambitious climate targets are best solved in close cooperation with local stakeholders and that cities / municipalities are the new climate pivotal points when it comes to putting turbo on climate efforts", says Peter Rathje, CEO, ProjectZero.

- Further Conference Documentation (pdf)

[Author: Vivian Kroll]

Impressions from the Workshop Sessions
Please find the documentation of two workshop sessions related to the Act Now! project here:

[Pictures by Petra Schneider and Meinhard Schulz-Baldes]

Summary of 4th Act Now! Steering Committee and Partner Meeting in Sonderborg
The 4th Act Now! Steering Committee and Partner Meeting  (SCM) was part of the second transnational Act Now! conference. It was held on 2nd October 2019 as a closed session during the “100% Climate Neutrality Conference” in Sonderborg, Denmark.
29 Act Now! members from eight countries attended the SCM.

Report on Midterm Project Evaluation
Ryotaro Kajimura presented a summary of the results of the questionnaire regarding the midterm evaluation of the Act Now! project.

Report on Pilot Investments – State of the works and first outcomes
Francesco Romagnoli presented an overview of the status of the pilot investments.
All involved partners (Elva, Gdynia, Gulbene, Kaliningrad, Sievi, Silute) had sent feedback to the ‘Record of investment development’. Due to various delays in procurement and installation the outcome is not completed in project period four.

Report Future Investment Planning and Financing
Lars Holstenkamp and Ryotaro Kajimura presented for Group of Activity (GoA) 3.3 “Identification of potential for energy saving and identification of most effective measures” and for GoA 3.4 “Financing of investments”:
  • Background & Knowledge generation
  • Types of projects & decision criteria and
  • Observations 
The situation between the partners is very diverse.

LEEGs and ‘LEEGs Task Force (LTF)’
Vivian Kroll presented an overview of the role and the status of the Local Energy Efficiency Groups (LEEGs).
Petra Schneider introduced the background, concept and objectives of the new ‘LEEGs Task Force (LTF)’. The LTF agreed at their first meeting that all partners upload their SEAPs / SECAPs to the ecolo cloud and introduce the new LTF at the SCM. Simona Bokstaite presented the LEEG in Silute, 
Siim Meeliste presented Elva’s LEEG in Estonia and explained the concept of three levels/ subgroups of the LEEG.
A similar situation with LEEGs in different levels exists in Poland as Adam Cenian added.
Anne-Riikka Rautio presented the LEEG in Sievi, Finland, and Timo Kiema described briefly the regional workgroup in Ylivieska.
Second Regional/National Workshops  
Petra Schneider presented requirements for the regional/national workshops and presented an example from the Interreg BSR Secretariat clarification process regarding regional/national Act Now! workshop documentation.

Reporting and Interreg BSR/Bamos compliance   
Till Scherzinger gave examples of questions by the Secretariat in the clarification processes following the reporting of period three to the Interreg JS. He pointed out that the Act Now! project is very complex and all partners together need to explain clearly which goals have been achieved and which are to be achieved. The project understanding can be improved on different levels:
  • Level 1: Partners
  • Level 2: WP and GoA Leaders
  • Level 3: Interreg Secretariat
  • Objective 1: Your project
  • Objective 2: The Act Now! projects outputs
  • Objective 3: EU objectives
He stated how important compliance is with what is described in the application form. He pointed out to always use the most recent version of the application as in Bamos, not to refer to a previous/older version.

Till also explained how importantit is to pay attention to all the details for reporting.
The Steering Committee formally agreed to include in each periodical progress report  information about
  • Actual cooperation with their Associated Partners in the given period
  • Transnational values
  • Horizontal Principles
  • Cross cutting issues
Till Scherzinger presented an overview of the timeline, project status and time amendments.

[Author: Petra Schneider]

Summary of Local Energy Efficiency Group (LEEG) in Silute (LT)
Some members of the LEEG in Silute (LT).
The Local energy efficiency group (LEEG) is a new unit established in the Act Now! project frame. The LEEG group consists of three representatives from Silute district municipality, two from expert partner Civitta, also the representavite from local heating supply company and members from company called IRTC, which specialises in smart metering. The comunication of LEEG is assured by eye to eye meetings or conference calls.
Our LEEG is based on issue solving, but not on constant and schedule meetings. Some months may have one meeting some may have four, but it all depends upon the issues we have and the results we want to achieve. 

At the moment we are working on these topics:
  1. Self assesment and SWOT analysis of Silute District Municipality. 
  2. Brainstorm on the other project outside ActNow. 
  3. Collection of heat data. 
  4. Development of the new project. Planning to apply to European energy effciency funds (EEEF)
  5. Capacity building. 
  6. Planning on renewing SEAP from 2021.
We hope we are going  to continue to work on the same or even more intense pace.

[Author & Picture: Simona Bokstaite]

Summary of the LEEG in Elva, Estonia
The LEEG in Elva is organised in three different workflows/formations of the working group. The first level is the core that includes the Act Now! project management, local government officials and tandem partners. This core group is responsible for the implementation. The second level is the extended network of expert stakeholders. This is the most important meeting format as it includes all the relevant partners (local real estate managers, district heating company, energy auditors etc.) and it is a kind of a steering group for the energy efficiency activities.
The third workflow is working with the general public to disseminate information about the progress with the Act Now! project and educate the general public on energy efficiency topics. This format is to encourage the wider public to follow the good example set by the Act Now! project implementation in Elva municipality.

[Author: Siim Meeliste]

Local energy efficiency groups in Finland - Sievi and Kalajoki
The situation of Act Now! partners in Finland is different than in other partner countries since the municipality partner Assosiation of Ylivieska region consists of six different municipalities. The “preliminary LEEG” was established in April 2018 and it has worked in order to increase the awareness about energy efficiency and building the energy capacity in the region. All of the municipalities in the area are in a different phase of the climate work, and for the Act Now! project Sievi municipality has been selected as a pilot municipality and Kalajoki as a reference municipality. The good practices learnt will be passed around the Ylivieska region.

 Quick facts
 Population density
 Main economical

 Special feature
 Big industrial
 Tourism branch

Kalajoki has been in Finnish national Energy Efficiency Agreement for Municipalities since 2010 and have had functional energy efficiency group for a few years now. Since the energy efficiency work has been on-going for years in Kalajoki the LEEG has valuable knowledge how to do the climate work in Finnish municipalities.
Scheme of the Ylivieska LEEG.One of the most important tasks of the “preliminary LEEG” is the establishment of LEEG in Sievi. The core of the LEEG will be municipality’s technical and administration staff. The other members of LEEG have been selected so that they would represent all the important stakeholders in the municipality. In small municipalities, this is especially important since the sense of community working together can compensate the small size. The selected stakeholders will represent the municipality’s industry, agriculture, church and the local energy company. The organization meeting will be held at mid November. The role of the “preliminary LEEG” is to make the start of the LEEG in Sievi as smooth as possible and to bring the knowledge learnt from other LEEGs in Act Now project.

[Author & Picture: Anne-Riikka Rautio]

Gulbene Capacity Building Scheme Action Plan 1st Workshop: “First step towards SEAP/SECAP in Gulbene Municipality”

The aim of Act Now! project is focused on capacity building for municipality to create or strengthening energy efficiency and climate protection strategies. In particularly tailored Capacity Building Scheme (CBS) will be developed and adapted to the needs of the participating municipalities. Core of these Capacity Building Schemes is the creation within each participating  Municipality of Local Energy Efficiency Group (LEEG) consisting of municipality staff members and relevant local stakeholders as steering bodies for future energy efficiency measures and frame for an on-the-job-training for which customized action plans will be developed.
One of the key priorities identified within the Capacity Building Scheme (CBS) action plan developed within the tandem approach between Gulbene Municipality and RTU Institute of Energy Systems and Environment is the finalization of a SECAP.

Currently Gulbene Municipality has not a tailored SECAP, in this context the specific action developed through the tandem approach would like to provide a new, consistent and active SECAP also beyond the project end. Specifically RTU defined six focused workshops aiming in order to have by May 2020 the final and approved version of the SECAP. The LEEG is main beneficiary of the knowledge and know/how transfer and will be in charge to present to other neighbour municipalities the finalized SECAP.

The timeline of the specific CBS implementation is based on six workshops as described below.

On the 29th of October 2019 in the Gulbene Municipality Hall was organized the first CBS workshop with the title of “First step towards SEAP/SECAP in Gulbene Municipality”. The workshop has been organized in synergy with the project Life Adaptate (EU Life programme).
 First step towards SEAP/SECAP in Gulbene Municipality 29.10.2019
 Energy management system in Gulbene Municipality 03.12.2019
 Discussion about different measures to be included in the SEAP/SECAP Jan 2020
 How to improve communication about energy efficiency, climate and
 environmental issues with different target groups
 Feb 2020
 Energy management system: the role and duties of different employees Mar. 2020
 SECAP presentation to other Municipalities by Gulbene LEEG May 2020
The aim of the workshop was to actively engage the LEEG and the Gulbene Municipality management staff trough the preliminary identification of the key challenges, objectives, goals and specific tasks towards the pathways of SEAP/SECAP definition. The event accounted for 14 participants including: the Mayor of Gulbene Municipality, eight LEEG delegates, the delegates from RTU Institute of Energy Systems and Environment (Prof. Marika Rošā and Assoc. Prof. Francesco Romagnoli) and the delegate from EKODOMA SIA in the frame of Life Adaptate project.

The event was organized into two main parts. The first part was more theoretical and addressed to the presentation of the overall concept and main principles towards SEAP/SECAP developments. The presentation of best case practices about the implementation of Energy Management System from other Latvian Municipality municipalities was also presented. The second part was oriented to a more actively involvement of the LEEG to define the challenges to set the strategic goals and objectives towards the SEAP implementation.
During the first part of the workshop the Energy Manager and LEEG delegate from Gulbene Municipality Krišjānis Upāns presented the results of the preliminary preconditions analysis. The energy consumption in municipal buildings, lightning and transportation fleet were presented and the main lacks and criticalities discussed with the coaching partner (e.g. lack of monitored heat consumption in several parishes, systematic and consistent data collection about firewood consumption, and refinement of data collection on the transport sector). The analysis was performed on a data collection template provided by RTU-IESE.

Prof. Marika Rošā presented key success factors for Energy Management implementation according to ISO 50001 based on best case practices implemented in the Latvian context and well described in the dissemination material of Compete4SECAP project.

The second part of the workshop was dedicated to identify five specific challenges to be addressed with reduction and adaption measure within a SECAP using as well the output from the SWOT analysis and capacity assessment output within the Act Now! project.

The implemented method aimed to use post-it to stick on a white board to be further assigned to eight main dimensions of the identified challenges at municipal level, namely: lighting, microclimate in buildings, scientific knowledge transfer, buildings, energy management, communication, technical aspects, heating systems. Finally the LEEG selected three main priorities in order to consistently identify the specific targets, the specific action to be addressed and which (and how) involve stakeholders.The selected main challenges were: implementation of the Energy Management System, inefficient temperature control in the municipality administrative buildings, communication. The LEEG will continue with the same approach for the other identified challenges in order to further have a discussion and clarification.

The workshop closed setting the tasks before the next meeting planned for the 3rd of December.

[Author & Pictures: Francesco Romagnoli]

Act Now! contributes to AREA 21 transnational workshop in St. Petersburg
On Oct., 29th Prof. Adam Cenian from Institute of Fluid-Flow Machinery Polish Academy of Sciences (Act Now! Project partner) took part in the transnational workshop of Area 21 Baltic Sea Region project taking place in St. Petersburg (Russia). This project brings together authorities, energy providers and citizens to find and apply the best solutions for energy saving in their cities. This year Area 21 Workshop/Round Table on ‘Strategic Energy Planning in Urban Districts: International Good Practices and Future Policy Perspectives’ took place during the "XVIII. Annual Strategic Planning Leaders Forum of the Regions and Cities of Russia" (Forum Strategov, forumstrategov.ru/eng/program/stol77.html). The Round Table co-organised by HafenCity University Hamburg (Germany) and Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (Russia) concentrated on the potentials and barriers for strategic energy planning in urban districts.

Kaisa-Reeta Koskiinen from Helsinki gave an opening keynote presentation on the city approach to energy transition in the context of climate change. Later, partners from the EU-financed projects: Act Now!, Effect4Buildings and eTEACHER presented good practices and actions, which promote energy efficiency in the building stock. Prof. Cenian gave a talk on ‘Act Now!: Improving Energy Efficiency through Capacity Building of Public Administrations’.
The following panel discussion concentrated on:
  • barriers to stakeholders involvement in strategic planning for improving energy efficiency in housing and public utilities;
  • the role of information and communications technology (ICT) in energy efficiency;
  • best international practices to develop and implement strategic energy plans in urban districts.
[Author: Adam Cenian, Pictures: Galya Vladova/Olga Kalchenko]

Act Now! promoted at Pomeranian Energy Picnic in Gdynia
The Act Now! project was promoted by IMP PAN coworkers during the 9th Pomeranian Energy Picnic (June, 15-17th) at the Arka Gdynia Square. The meeting take place every year and is dedicated to energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. It is organized by City of Gdynia and Voivodship Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, PGE Energia Ciepła SA and OPEC Gdynia. This year honorary patronage took Dariusz Drelich – Governor of Pomerania Voivodship, National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Environment

A number of events and meetings organized during the 9th Pomeranian Energy Days was an opportunity to broaden the knowledge on the efficient use of energy and modern and innovative energy-saving solutions. IMP PAN was promoting energy efficiency measures in the building stock during open-air meetings. Relatively much attention was paid towards “green” transportation systems, including electrical bikes and scooters. As parents were discussing various technical and financial issues, children were learning what is energy and heat through plays and contests.

The seminar "Citizen Energetics and Contemporary Energy Challenges in Municipalities" took place on the 17th of June 2019. On 17th Juni Teresa Zurek from the Institute of Fluid-Flow Machinery of the Polish Academy of Science (IMP PAN) in Gdansk presented a talk on EU requirements regarding improvement of energy efficiency of buildings and experience related to the implementation of the directive on the energy performance of buildings in our country.

Another expert presented innovative solutions for energy/heat generation that help to protect environment and citizens finances. The City Hall administration and OPEC (local heat provider) presented the “Clear Air” program, advantages of district heating and various financial support schemes.

[Author: Adam Cenian, Pictures: Witold Cenian]

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Klimastadtbüro Bremerhaven
Till Scherzinger / Petra Schneider
Waldemar-Becké-Platz 5
27568 Bremerhaven