Webinar - Developing and implementing SECAPs in small and rural municipalities

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Are you a small or rural municipality? Are you a local authority considering taking energy and climate action? Or are you a local authority that has already developed a SECAP or implemented energy and climate measures that you would like to share with other municipalities? Then this webinar is for you!

The Covenant of Mayors (CoM) – Europe is spreading its activities with an online event co-organised with the CEESEU project, funded under the Horizon 2020 programme, focusing on the development and implementation of SECAPs and joint SECAPs in small and rural municipalities.

High-level speakers representing DG ENERGY, DG CLIMA and DG AGRI will share updates on the support available for small and rural municipalities.

Practical methods and approaches to overcome the common obstacles for the development and implementation of SECAP / joint SECAP are presented through examples from different EU countries, highlighting challenges and opportunities for local authorities.

Participants will be invited to actively participate in the discussion, sharing concrete challenges and lessons learned.

Objectives of the webinar:

  • Provide practical/hands-on examples to small, medium and rural municipalities for planning and undertaking energy & climate action, covering the entire SECAP cycle (i.e. data collection and assessment, multi-level governance, action planning, monitoring, financing).
  • Provide space for signatories to raise questions/share experiences and lessons learned.

See the Agenda.

Vidzeme municipalities are strengthening their knowledge of energy planning and SECAP development

By Anita Āboliņa, Vidzeme Planning Region

By attracting the financial resources of the European Union, in the CEESEU energy planning training organised by the Vidzeme Planning Region, specialists of Vidzeme municipalities have been learning theory and performing various practical tasks since April. Municipalities have delegated energy managers, development and project department specialists, accountants, public relations and communication specialists, representatives of capital companies, building managers, etc., to participate in the workshops. A wide range of specialists is invited to participate in the training to create awareness of the importance of forming an interdisciplinary working group for developing the SECAP plan in the future. The training content, created by the international CEESEU consortium, strengthens the energy planning capacity of specialists in municipalities. The selected training topics improve their understanding of important aspects in the SECAP plan development process.

It should be noted that according to the Latvian Energy Efficiency Law requirements, national cities must implement a certified energy management system, and regional municipalities must implement an energy management system by August 31, 2023. Therefore the knowledge gained in the CEESEU seminars is fundamental. Specialists can start developing plans parallel to the training, consulting with seminar lecturers and exchanging experience with specialists from other municipalities.

The representative of the Latvian State Construction Control Bureau praised the active and purposeful work of the Vidzeme Planning Region and municipalities in ​​energy efficiency so far, claiming that the organisation has been following the active work of the Vidzeme Planning Region with energy efficiency issues already for some time.

During the first training with experts, participants discussed the organisation of the planning process and the necessity of creating a working group. They also discussed the importance of cooperation and involvement of various stakeholders already at the initial planning stage.

The participants agreed that before developing any planning document, which also applies to the development of the SECAP plan, it is essential to understand the document’s importance and its further application in the daily work of the organisation or institution. In addition, awareness should be fostered among participants in the working group, colleagues, local policymakers, and other stakeholders. The involvement of these participants should be foreseen not only in the planning and development stage of the document but also in implementation and monitoring while being aware that planning documents mean long-term commitments. One of the critical findings that affected the state administration's and local authorities' operation is that municipalities and their employees can be the main barrier breakers and testers of new ideas, setting an example and encouraging others to new, innovative activities. "Goals must be realistic but also ambitious at the same time", - said an energy efficiency expert in the Vidzeme Planning Region, Edgars Augustiņš.

The seminars also pay much attention to data and its impact on the ability of specialists to make energy-efficient decisions in their daily work. Following the statement that data-based decisions are qualitative and comparable, the seminar looked at the possibilities of collecting and accounting for energy consumption data.

The seminars so far also pay much attention to data and its impact on the ability of specialists to make energy-efficient decisions in their daily work. Following the statement that data-based decisions are qualitative and comparable, the seminar looked at the possibilities of collecting and accounting for energy consumption data.

The invited experts repeatedly emphasised that accurate data analysis can help to understand priority actions and that missing or incorrect data and its processing can lead to ineffective decisions.

Participants are encouraged to participate in discussions and share their experiences in energy consumption data accounting, building management, measures taken to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, and solutions to mitigate the effects of climate change. In addition, the workshops will also focus on adaptation to climate change and planning and implementing measures for mitigating climate change, which is vital for preparing the SECAP plan.

SECAP of Hatvan created by WWF Hungary

About the city of Hatvan, Hungary

Hatvan is an important transport hub in the north- western part of the Great Plain, on both banks of the Zagyva River. These qualities have attracted many businesses to the city. The weight of the industrial sector is therefore much greater than in other cities of similar size.


The city of Hatvan would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030 compared to 2020. As industrial production is very energy intensive, the energy consumption per capita in Hatvan is one and a half times higher than the national average. Therefore, the most important mitigation objective is to increase the efficiency of energy use. This can be achieved mainly by (deep) energy renovation of buildings and by strengthening cooperation with the industrial sector.

A significant part of the mitigation package is linked to the rationalisation of the thermal energy sector and includes a preliminary study on the development of a new district heating system based on renewable/waste heat. This step alone would imply a reduction of 20,800 tonnes CO2 emissions and 10.6 million m3 of natural gas consumption, which would be a great step not only for climate protection but also to reach energy independence.

Energy poverty

In the current energy crisis, it is crucial that the city targets its assistance to families in energy poverty. It is estimated that 15-20% of households in Hatvan may be struggling with this phenomenon. The defined measures outlined in the SECAP will help to map the problem and promote a long-term sustainable solution based on awareness-raising and community collaboration.


The Zagyva River is a vauleable natural resource in the city and a potential source of danger due to the increasing flooding. However, the development of the river's environment offers unique climate adaptation potential. The expansion and development of urban green spaces is

also considered by the public to be the most important municipal task. Relevant measures therefore focus mainly on a significant increase in forest coverage (from 6% to 27%) and the dissemination of various solutions for natural water reteachment measure. By implementing these improvements, the city can remain liveable even during upcomming severe heat waves and periods of drought.

The SECAP was created by WWF Hungary in 2023 and supported by CEESEU project.

The entire document is available on the link below in Hungarian language.


The Intelligent Cities Challenge Opens Applications for New Phase

Building on the success of the previous edition of the Intelligent Cities Challenge programme (2020-22) and its predecessor Digital Cities Challenge (2017-19), the second phase of the Intelligent Cities Challenge (ICC) has now been launched and cities are called to express their interest by applying now on the ICC website.

The ICC is a European Commission initiative supporting European cities towards the green and digital transition of their local economies, through Local Green Deals.  ICC helps cities harness the power of cutting-edge technologies, while improving their economic competitiveness, social resilience and the European citizens’ quality of life.  Cities across Europe looking to accelerate the Twin Transition can now apply now to be part of one of the European Commission’s largest city support initiatives supporting European cities in their green and digital transitions.

Each participating city will be asked to implement a Local Green Deal or series of concrete actions at the local level to help cities transition towards more resilient and sustainable economies. The ICC’s approach to Local Green Deals is based on governance, actions, integrated goals and partnerships.

What are the advantages in joining ICC 2.0? 

This new phase of the Challenge will build on lessons learned in the first phase with a revamped approach to generate more impact tailored to cities’ needs. By joining or continuing to work with the programme, you will gain access to a range of benefits and build on achievements from the first phase.

  • Become inspired by best examples: through exchange with peers, European and international mentors and learn how cities use technologies to solve urban challenges.
  • Scale up visibility, recognition and business opportunities for your city: become part of a renowned, international community of innovative cities for collaborations.
  • Turn strategy into impactful action: together with your lead expert, implement short and long-term projects adapted to where you are in your journey, for example: Local Green Deals, projects around construction, mobility and energy; leveraging access to finance, reskilling and procurement transversal support, and circularity initiatives, etc.
  • Get your voice heard: promote city diplomacy and raise awareness through a series of face-to-face workshops, networking opportunities and go-and-see's.
  • Use your newly-developed knowledge: become a regional role model and help neighbouring cities accelerate transition into green and digital ecosystems, and create new opportunities for all.
  • Take it at your own pace: cities can follow the programme at different speeds, according to the city’s resources and ambitions.

Key Dates and Application Process 

All applications should be made through the Intelligent Cities Challenge website here by the deadline on 28 April 2023.

A pre submission eligibility check is offered to all cities that apply before 7 April 2023 to determine if they can continue with their applications. New cities will be assessed and if successful, invited to the interview stage. Cities will be notified of their acceptance ahead of the onboarding phase at the end of June 2023.

EOI Timeline


You can find more information here:

Dissemination workshop within the CESEEU-DIGIT project

At the beginning of April, Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd. (MENEA) organized a dissemination workshop as part of the CEESEU-DIGIT project. The interactive workshop was held with identified key stakeholders who will participate in future project activities and contribute to the creation of strategic documents that will be created through the project.

The workshop was divided into two parts; the first, theoretical part, where the participants learned about the concept of just transition and why it is important to include it in relevant strategic documents and the second, interactive part.

The interactive part of the workshop consisted of gathering point of views and opinions of stakeholders related to just transition. Various topics were discussed, for example, how the concept of just transition is implemented in Croatia, how the concept of just transition could be integrated into local and regional planning and what the obstacles for integrating the concept of just transition into local and regional planning are.

This activity marks the beginning of dissemination activities which will continue throughout the project, where opinions of various stakeholders will be gathered, in order to continue to expand the concept of just transition.



Webinar - Supporting mechanisms for local authorities to deploy energy communities

 - Online only

The event will feature the concept idea of the Technical Assistance Cookbook and the online One-Stop-Shop platform being developed on behalf of the LIFE-BECKON project. High-level speakers representing DG ENER and the Energy Communities Repository will share updates on EU policy on energy communities and the support available to develop energy communities at the local level. Furthermore, the variety of national energy community frameworks is presented through examples from Bulgaria, Denmark and Spain, highlighting challenges and opportunities for local authorities. Participants will be invited to actively participate in the discussion, sharing concrete challenges and possible solutions.

Objectives of the webinar:

  • Present the overall idea and expected outcomes of LIFE-BECKON as supporting mechanism to deploy energy communities at local level
  • Show the variety of ECs frameworks at the national level, local challenges and possible opportunities
  • Collecting multi-level feedback and opinions which will contribute to the development of the LIFE-BECKON supporting mechanism in the three demo areas throughout the three years of the project’s implementation and beyond.

See the agenda

Register now

This launch event of the LIFE-BECKON project funded under the LIFE programme is being co-organised with the Covenant of Mayors – Europe. The LIFE-BECKON project will focus on the state of play of supporting mechanisms for local authorities to facilitate the creation of energy communities.

Read more about the LIFE-BECKON project.

Households in apartment buildings in Czechia can now produce and share renewable energy

The Czech Republic has taken an important step toward true energycommunities. At the end of 2022, the country approved new regulations that will allow for shared production of electricity from renewable energy in apartment buildings. Until now, legislation did not allow forthe sharing of jointly produced electricity among households.

The new regulation will make it possible to distribute electricity produced from, for example, photovoltaic power plants among individual households. The regulation allows for the sharing of electricity by introducing a leading consumption point, which will be the only one in the building connected to the photovoltaic power plant on the roof. The system will allow access only to those households that express an interest in it, though at least half of the households need to agree. The produced electricity will be divided according to an allocation key to each participating household, thus reducing the energy bill. The excess electricity from the building can be sold through this consumption point to the grid.

Half of Czechs live in apartmentbuildings, so the potential of the roofs of such buildings is huge. Moreover, the apartment buildings can benefit from a support scheme administered by the National Environment Fund, which covers around half of the investment costs (including battery storage systems). The regulation has only been in place for a few months, and the coming months will show if it will work in reality. A full energy community legal framework is still not in place. Recently, the Ministry of Energy proposed new legislation allowing for energy communities similar to those in neighboring Austria, but the law has been delayed several times, and it is not certain it will pass the legislative process. Let'shope it does.



Photo by Minku Kang: https://www.pexels.com/photo/aerial-view-of-city-buildings-in-prague-czech-republic-6384390/

Join the PROTECT Community - Open call for public authorities

PROTECT brings together a community of procurers and other practitioners from public authorities and provide them with key information and knowledge about innovation procurement approaches for climate change services based on Earth Observation (EO) data.

Why joining the PROTECT Community?

By taking part in the PROTECT Community you will be prepared, equipped and ready to tackle the climate change risks and challenges your organisation face and to participate in the co-design and development of innovative climate change services targeted to your needs through Pre-Commercial Procurement.

PROTECT’s mission is to prepare you and have you strategically positioned for undertaking a future Pre-Commercial Procurement fully funded by the European Commission and expected to be launched in 2024 with a funding amount of up to EUR 19 million(HORIZON-CL6-2024-GOVERNANCE-01-5: Customisation/pre-operationalisation of prototypes end-user services in the area Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation).

In this frame, the PROTECT consortium is looking for public authorities willing to join the PROTECT community and interested in receiving technical assistance and awareness-raising and capacity building activities on the topics of Innovation Procurement, Earth Observation and Climate change adaptation and mitigation among others. This assistance will be provided free-of-charge and most activities will be delivered through a dedicated community platform that will be operational as of January 2023.

But, concretely what’s in for you in the PROTECT community?

  • You will be prepared to undertake joint, cross border or coordinated procurements in the future
  • You will be the first to become engaged and consulted about the challenges you face and your needs for EO-based climate change services
  • You will receive assistance in defining and aggregating clear and realistic needs for climate change services in 5 domains (Energy and Utilities, Marine and Coastal environments, Sustainable urban communities, Agriculture, Forestry and land use, and Civil security and Protection)
  • You will get insights into climate services market existing and future solutions and technologies
  • You will receive tailored training webinars, and fresh, relevant and continuous knowledge and information about trends and policies related to innovation procurement, climate change services and Earth Observation
  • You will have the opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences, tools, tips, and good practices with peers from other regions in Europe
  • You will have the opportunity to apply for on-demand technical assistance and consulting activities from a pool of thematic experts to public authorities willing to go a step further in understanding the potential of EO applications to climate action
  • Ultimately, you will strategically be positioned for undertaking the upcoming pre-commercial procurement

What do you need to do to join the PROTECT Community?

 It’s very easy! Fill in the contact form below and get access to all FREE BENEFITS.

How to join the PROSPECT+ capacity-building programme - Italy, Ireland, Poland

With the objective to engage a total of 200 public authorities in its capacity-building programme on innovative financing, PROSPECT+ will implement four learning cycles starting respectively in:

• February 2022
• November 2022
• August 2023
• May 2024

Local and regional authorities or their energy/climate agencies, local and regional organisations (e.g., development agencies, municipal companies, energy cooperatives) and external consultants working for a local or regional public authority from 44 eligible countries1 can apply to participate in one of the learning cycles, either as a mentor or a mentee.

Do you want to apply?

  • 3rd call for mentees is now open: Local and regional authorities can submit their applications from the 2nd of March 2023 to the 14th of April 2023 (registration link).
  • Local and regional authorities from Italy interested in joining a local learning group in their national language can submit their applications from the 2nd of March until the 14th of April 2023 (registration link). For more information about PROSPECT+ and the Capacity Building Programme in Italian click here.
  • Local and regional authorities from Ireland interested in joining a local learning group can submit their applications from the 2nd of March until the 14th of April 2023 (registration link).
  • Local and regional authorities from Poland interested in joining a local learning group in their national language can submit their applications from the 2nd of March until the 14th of April 2023 (registration link). For more information about PROSPECT+ and the Capacity Building Programme in Polish click here.
  • Call for mentors: from the 22nd of May 2023 to the 7th of June 2023.
  • Informative webinar for applicants on the 2nd of March 2023 (Watch it here.)
  • Start of the third learning cycle in August/September 2023.

Did you miss the application period? You can still submit your application to the Expression of Interest to be considered for the next rounds.

More information: https://h2020prospect.eu/get-involved

ManagEnergy Master Class in Brussels: Call for Energy Agencies!

ManagEnergy Master Classes aim to equip Energy Agencies and Regional and Local Authorities across Europe with the skills and knowledge to foster, stimulate and develop sustainable energy projects in Europe. Designed to build the capacity, expertise and knowledge of energy agencies' staff, these Master Classes also present opportunities for networking with peers.

The Master Classes will be delivered in a blended learning format.  A one and half-day face-to-face session in Brussels is supported with two half-day online sessions. The format of the classes includes problem-solving exercises, workshops, case studies and guest lectures from agencies and organisations relevant to energy investments.

Financial support (up to a maximum of €550) is provided to participants for travel and accommodation costs.  Participants who complete the Master Classes will receive a Digital Badge attesting their participation.

The details for the first Master Class are confirmed:

  • Topic: Market Facilitation and Project Aggregation
  • Dates: 4th May (morning, online); 16-17th May (Brussels); 30th May (morning, online)

More information and application: https://www.managenergy.net/node/1695

New windfarm in western Poland

In Budzyń, a city located in western Poland, a new wind farm has been realized by the fourth largest wind energy company in the world, named EDP Renewables. The new wind turbines complex, with its 35 structures can cover the demand of 85,000 people with a total capacity of 70 MW; a great result not only for the region but also for the entire state of Poland, helped by the project on reach a goal of energy independence and carrying out proper energy transition process.

This project implements two other great projects; the Margonin Wind Farm (with a production capacity of 120 MW) and the Pawłowo-Gołończ Wind Farm (that produce 80 MW). The total capacity of these three projects, which is about 270 MW, can give a great contribution for the sustainable energy development of western Poland where the last project realized, previously described, has a production that correspond to save over 215,000 tons of CO2 every year.

The development of these renewable projects, and also that of other types, might bring a great impact not only in the clean energy transition process, in order to reach the national and European goals, but also for the creation of new long-term jobs, the awareness of citizens about the renewable energy resources and the reduction of carbon footprints. Another important advantage, generated by the development of these types of projects and the diversification of green energy resources is represented by the following reduction of energy costs for final consumers, which is always the main interest of citizens.

Accelerate your project ideas with the Smart Cities Marketplace Matchmaking services!

Do you need help identifying projects, or further shaping project ideas to become bankable? Then apply now to the Smart Cities Marketplace Matchmaking services which will help you through tailor-made technical assistance.

Matchmaking services provided by the Smart Cities Marketplace aim to help cities and city consortia with their project proposals to achieve climate neutrality. The offered services aim to help with identifying projects, or further shaping project ideas to become bankable through tailor-made technical assistance. Matchmaking services also aim to help investors to find smart city proposals. Projects with a high maturity level can be further supported through the deal meetings with the platform’s Investor Network. The Smart Cities Marketplace‘s support is thus provided throughout the ‘Explore’, ‘Shape’ and ‘Deal’ stages of the respective projects.

Interested cities or city consortia can respond by providing as much information as possible in the intake form, available here, with the details of their projects.

MORE INFORMATION: https://eu-mayors.ec.europa.eu/en/call-for-smart-cities-market-place-match-making-services

Energy Poverty Advisory Hub - 2nd call for technical assistance

EPAH is excited to launch its second call for technical assistance. We invite local governments and/or organisations working in strict collaboration with local governments from all the 27 EU Member States to submit their request for technical assistance and receive support in the process of tackling energy poverty.

Applicants will be able to submit online their proposal from the 1st of March 2023. Awarded applicants will receive tailored-made support by experts and the EPAH team to develop their energy poverty actions in their local context.

The deadline for applications is 31st of March at 18:30 CET (Brussels time, GMT+1).

The proposals will be submitted online via the dedicated EPAH call website, on which interested applicants will be able to find all the detailed information. They will need to register to submit their proposal. The website is available but registrations will be approved as of 1st of March.

Learn more about how and why you should apply – Join one of our national webinars

Interested applicants from all across Europe will have the chance to learn more about the call during a series of national webinars that will take place between 1 and 15 March 2023. The webinars will be open to all but they will be held in the national languages.

A webinar in English was held on 27 February. You can access the recordingAll the webinars available on the dedicated platform.

Poland plans to build offshore and onshore windfarms by 2040

Nowadays the offshore wind plants are covering the 20% of the Poland electricity production with the intention of increasing the number of wind turbines in order to reach the goals of a zero emission energy production and the development of the decarbonisation process. The companies that manage these power plants must use a bilateral contract under which they will cover the gap between the market price of energy and the price enabling producer to cover costs of production energy at sea. The negative balance, as it is called by greenPower, will be able to satisfy the demand with 5.9 GW of energy production starting from 2030 and improving the capacity of the plants with two intervention in the following years that will give others 5 GW. An important role is played by the promotion of these projects inside the society in order to obtain the support of citizens.

Another important project has been developed by the TAURON group whit the realization of their 10th  wind farm, this time built in the Piotrków Municipality, and capable of cover the needs of 35,000 people whit its 15 turbines, each one can produce 2 MW. This project will take place in the Łodż Voivodship with an expected production of 90.1 GWh/year. The TAURON Company is now leading the wind energy production in Poland (onshore) with 182 turbines for a total annual production of 410 MW (estimated) and the perspective to reach the goal of 1100 MW within the 2025.

Thanks to these type of projects it’s possible to improve the growth of green energy production in Poland following the objective of the European Green Deal.

The first interregional green hydrogen value chain in South Estonia and Northern Latvia

With a common goal and a strong partnership, work begins to establish the first interregional green hydrogen value chain in South Estonia, Tartu region, and Northern Latvia, Vidzeme region. Nine partners from Estonia, Latvia, and the Netherlands at the end of 2022 started work on the project “Supporting the Regional Development of the Green Hydrogen Fuel Value Chain for Transportation in Estonia and Latvia” (H2Value). As part of the Interregional Innovation Investments Instrument (I3) the H2Value project will be implemented for 3 years.

 The transport sector is currently one of the top CO2 emission emitters, which requires existing technology to change to reduce the negative impacts on the environment. As there are solutions such as electrification or bio-CNG usage in the transport sector, there is a high need for other technologies. Green hydrogen is receiving growing attention in Europe and around the world as it has the potential to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and it can be used in multiple sectors including transport, industry, power and building sectors. Green hydrogen is produced by using renewable energy to power the electrolysis of water.

The H2Value project aims to have two pilots in Tartu and Vidzeme regions – setting up a small-scale green hydrogen production plant based on solar energy, establishing a green hydrogen refueling station, testing the transportation of green hydrogen via road and use hydrogen as a zero-emissions source of fuel. The challenge is the cost of this technology, which is currently high, and a lack of needed infrastructure. The price of green hydrogen plays an important role in setting up green hydrogen production and filling facilities for the transport sector.

In December 2022 at Tartu Nature House, Estonia, the project partners met in person to agree on the first steps to be taken to overcome the project challenges. During the first months’ project partners will devote all their attention to developing an interregional business and investment plan. The H2Value project will be implemented with the help of 2 regional authorities - Tartu City Government and Vidzeme Planning Region, 4 companies – Estiko Elekter, Waste management service ZAAO, AS ALEXELA and Baltic Innovation Agency, 2 associations - Estonian and Latvian Hydrogen Associations and 1 mentor from a top-performing region - New Energy Coalition in the Netherlands.

H2Value under of Interregional Innovation Investments Instrument (I3) - Innovation investments Strand 2a (I3-2021-INV2a) has received funding from the European Union under grant agreement No. 101083881. I3 is a new instrument and it intends to support innovative value chain investments, to boost the economy through green technology and to create sustainable industry/transport. It also intends to provide support to interregional investments in sustainable food systems, sustainable agriculture, clean and efficient energy, sustainable industry, building and renovating, sustainable mobility, eliminating pollution and climate action. For more information visit: https://eismea.ec.europa.eu/programmes/interregional-innovation-investments-i3-instrument_en

Wood Fuel User Manual

The Wood Fuel User Manual seeks to provide a comprehensive overview of the entire wood-based energy value chain, from wood resources to various heating solutions, environmental requirements, and cost-effectiveness calculations. The book focuses on expanding the use of wood fuel as well as its residues-free and more efficient use – to make sure that there will be enough forest all of us!

Wood Fuel User Manual is intended primarily for local and corporate building management professionals who are exposed to the design, construction, and operation of heating solutions for buildings, groups of buildings, and small settlements in their daily work. The handbook could also be suitable for experts, consultants, and students in the fields of renewable energy, energy supply, and planning.

This book talks about wood fuels, introducing its main properties, quality classes and standards, storage and preparation for combustion, main combustion technologies and equipment and their impact on the environment. One of the topics is different heat supply methods, with an emphasis on cogeneration and hybrid heat supply. In last chapters of the book, an overview of planning, designing and calculation of economic profitability of heating systems is given.

The “Wood Fuels User Manual” has been printed and electronic file (pdf) can be found and downloaded – Wood Fuel User Manual (pdf).

The handbook was co-financed by the Baltic ForBio (Accelerating production of forest bioenergy in the Baltic Sea Region) project, funded by the INTERREG Baltic Sea Region Programme.


Book ISBNs and other languages:

English – „Wood Fuel User Manual“
ISBN 978-9916-9545-0-8
ISBN 978-9916-9545-1-5 (pdf)
PDF download: Wood Fuel User Manual (pdf)

Estonian – „Puitkütuste kasutaja käsiraamat“
ISBN 978-9916-4-0006-7
ISBN 978-9916-4-0011-1 (pdf)
PDF download: Puitkütuste kasutaja käsiraamat (pdf)

Lithuanian – „Susmulkintojo medienos kuro naudotojo vadovas“
ISBN 978-9955-887-39-3 (pdf)

PDF download: Susmulkintojo medienos kuro naudotojo vadovas (pdf)

Energy transition of companies and SMEs in Medjimurje County (CROATIA)

Accelerating the transition of Croatian companies and SMEs towards a sustainable growth model is one of the ambitious objectives of the local governments located in Medjimurje County (Croatia), as they face various barriers that deter energy efficiency and RES measures. Energy transition of business sector was one of the main topics of the largest regional event organized on 25th of November 2022 in Town of Prelog (Croatia) called „Economic Forum of the Town of Prelog 2022“.

Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd. (CEESEU project partner) due to its long and good cooperation with Town of Prelog officials attended the event and used this opportunity to present the CEESEU project, its activities and expected results. Although the event was mainly intended for participants from business sector, it was attended also by national, regional and local policy makers who are supporting the whole process of energy transition of local companies and SMEs, provide relevant policies to foster their involvement and funding opportunities for launching energy efficiency and RES projects. Accordingly, this was a great opportunity to further connect with relevant national, regional and local policy makers on the topic of energy and climate planning at local level.

As part of the event, Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd. arranged its own information desk and provided the opportunity for interested participants to get more information about the project and its results. In addition to that, the director of the Agency, Mr. Višnjić attended the panel interview “Energy security” together with several energy experts and gave his insights on the whole concept of energy transition and what efforts are needed from local and regional governments and local companies and SMEs to support the whole process in the long run.

Vidzeme Planning Region joins the EC mission "Adapting to climate change."

The Vidzeme planning region becomes the first participant from Latvia to join the European Commission's mission "Adapting to climate change" to promote the implementation of more active measures in the field of adapting to climate change. So far, 215 regions, municipalities, and local organizations from 24 European Union member states have joined the "Adaptation to Climate Change" mission.

Planning regions and municipalities play an essential role in the country's progress toward climate neutrality and climate resilience.

Benefits of joining the mission:

  • Research & innovation funding opportunities to join large innovation actions;
  • Support through community of practice on adaptation to climate change;
  • Methodological recommendations and guidelines, which will be available to the mission participants from the beginning of 2023 on the specially developed platform;
  • Help by acting as testbeds for innovative adaptation solutions
  • Networking opportunities, learning and exchange of experiences among regions,local authorities and communities
  • Support with involving citizens in decision-making
  • Participation in the annual Mission Forum
  • Visibility for participating regions and local authorities

Analysis of past climate conditions and future climate change scenarios clearly demonstrates that climate change trends will continue throughout this century. In addition, the most significant changes will affect the extreme values ​​of the climatic parameters - in the future, we will have to deal more and more often with extreme weather conditions that are not typical for the territory of Latvia.

The most significant risks identified in Latvia are seasonal, incl. changes in the growing season, fires, proliferation of pests and pathogens, tree diseases, the introduction of new species, the spread of respiratory diseases, heatstroke, precipitation-induced flooding, wind gusts, power outages, hydropower fluctuations, frost reduction, bare frost, infrastructure damage, equipment overheating, water decrease in runoff during the summer season due to longer dry spells. It is necessary to implement adaptation measures following the risks, which are oriented towards mitigating and preventing the impact of these risks.

The benchmarking tool for monitoring, analysing and reducing energy consumption in buildings

The benchmarking tool “Energiamonitor“is an application for monitoring, analysing and reducing energy consumption in buildings. With the tool, you can easily discover recommendations and tips for reducing energy consumption and saving money by entering just electricity, heating and water heating data of your own building or apartment. In addition to monitoring energy consumption with vivid graphs, the application offers the ability to calculate the current energy label of your building (based on Estonian regulations), compare or share the energy consumption of your object(s) with others, and use an in-built solution to seek advice from energy experts up to reaching complete renovation solution in cooperation with energy experts.

The application supports English, Estonian and Russian, so international users can visit the site and try with their own building(s) energy consumption. If you do not have your own data immediately available, you can check the application with demo buildings integrated into the system.

If you don't know where you are, you don't know where to go and what you can achieve.

Use Energiamonitor and find out!


Energiamonitor application was developed with Baltic Smart City Areas for the 21st Century (AREA 21) project under the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme. You can also check the AREA 21 guide on Energy Planning and Management Tools


Medjimurje Energy Agency hosts a meeting with Medjimurje County officials on SECAPs

Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd. held a meeting with regional officials from Medjimurje County related to the development and implementation of Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans (SECAPs) for local governments located in Medjimurje region.

As part of the CEESEU project activities, Medjimurje Energy Agency Ltd. (MENEA) organized on October 20th 2022 a meeting with regional public officials from Medjimurje County - a regional government located in the northern part of Croatia. The main purpose of the meeting was to discuss the topic related to the creation and implementation of Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans – SECAPs for local governments in Medjimurje county.

During the first part of the meeting, employees from MENEA presented the CEESEN - Central and Eastern European Sustainable Energy Network in order to familiarize the representatives from Medjimurje County with the network’s vision, mission and activities. After the introductory words on the CEESEN network, the participants discussed the possibility of MENEA becoming a member of this network and since the vision and the mission of the network correspond to the work that MENEA deals with on daily basis, the head of the administrative department for international cooperation, project management and investments at Medjimurje County stated that Medjimurje County supports the idea. Accordingly, she will discuss the final decision with Medjimurje County Prefect.

In the second part of the meeting, the CEESEU project with a focus on established cooperation with Croatian-associated municipalities – Municipality of Nedelišće and Municipality of Sveti Juraj na Bregu was presented which opened a discussion on the groundwork for future collaboration with Medjimurje County in Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans (SECAPs) development and implementation at the regional level. Medjimurje County as the regional authority will provide their support in encouraging municipalities to develop SECAPs because currently there is a weak interest from the municipalities to develop such documents at the local level. Medjimurje County representatives stated that local energy and climate planning is a crucial step before investments are in place because they help in identifying the needs and setting priorities in the implementation of energy and climate-related projects which are relevant for the communities.

Since MENEA plans to organize local workshops within the CEESEU project for local and regional officials in order to raise their capacities in developing and implementing SECAPs, Medjimurje County will help in the promotion of the events and encourage local governments to participate in the events and raise their knowledge and recognize the benefits which SECAPs could provide for their local development.

How can cities lower their carbon footprints?

Metropolitan areas play an important role in the fight against climate change. While cities only take up 3% of the land on Earth, they account for two-thirds of global energy demand and 70% of CO2 emissions. [1] However, there are steps being taken in the right direction: many mega-cities such as Rio de Janeiro, New York, Paris, Oslo, Mexico City, Melbourne, London, Milan, Cape Town, Buenos Aires, Caracas, Copenhagen, and Vancouver have committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050.[2] At the same time, small and medium-sized cities are also pursuing the same goal in the framework of the Covenant of Mayors and are planning to achieve this through the adoption of Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans (SECAPs).

How can cities lower their carbon emissions? While there are many options, two central axes involve transportation and the building sector. By opting for lower-emission vehicles or switching to cycling altogether, the carbon footprint of cities can substantially be reduced.[3]  At the same time, the building sector requires a lot of energy for construction, maintenance and operation. According to 2015 estimates, 38% of global energy-related CO2 emissions came from buildings.[4] This can be remedied by making buildings more energy and material efficient and less reliant on fossil fuels for construction, heating, cooling and powering.

But what exactly is a carbon footprint and how is it measured? The European Court of Auditors refers to it as “the overall quantity of CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions caused directly and indirectly by a product or an activity or associated with the activities of an individual or an organisation.”[5] It is measured by adding up all the emissions resulting from every stage of a product or a service’s lifetime.[6] The widely used GHG Protocol identifies three main categories of emission sources (‘scopes’), which make it possible to further track the types of emissions being generated.

Scope 1 refers to direct emissions produced by a city through the use of oil, gas and other fossil fuels in combustion processes (e.g., heating boilers) for instance. In contrast, scope 2 covers the emissions it causes indirectly by purchasing electricity and/or district heating and cooling for its buildings for example. These are then emissions being released on its behalf. Finally, scope 3 emissions focus on all the emissions the city is indirectly responsible for both upstream and downstream of its value chain. These tend to relate to emissions generated by industry, households, public transport and mobility and must be analysed both upstream and downstream.

For companies and cities trying to improve their carbon footprint, scope 3 emissions are very important as these account for about 70% of all emissions. [7] That means that both small, medium-sized and large cities will have to start scrutinizing all three scopes and make the necessary data available to track their progress. Indeed, many cities have set themselves the goal of becoming carbon neutral, which not only requires the tracking of scope 3 emissions but also entails far-reaching carbon sequestration measures. While these should help reduce the city’s carbon footprint and support the fight against climate change, the real emphasis must lie on the reduction of emissions.

  Source: European Court of Auditors

[1] Cities must reduce their carbon footprint | World Economic Forum (weforum.org)

[2] How cities are going carbon neutral - BBC Future

[3] How cities are going carbon neutral - BBC Future

[4] How cities are going carbon neutral - BBC Future

[5] How do the EU institutions and bodies calculate, reduce and offset their greenhouse gas emissions? (europa.eu)

[6] Carbon Footprint Factsheet | Center for Sustainable Systems (umich.edu)

[7] What are scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions? | Deloitte UK

Representatives of local governments are encouraged to apply for SECAP training

On October 4, CEESEU project manager Baiba Šelkovska participated in a seminar organized by the Interreg Estonia-Latvia programme project "Smart Living" in Valka town. Local municipalities` specialists, entrepreneurs, and other energy community members were gathered at the event to learn more about activities that would help survive the energy resource crisis in both the public and private sectors. Estonian and Latvian municipalities' representatives shared their experiences on saving energy and money.

Considering that careful planning of works not only within the building but on a broader scale is of great importance, the seminar participants were informed about the planned training in the CEESEU project, which will take place in January next year. Currently, the SECAP training is being communicated to local government specialists to stimulate interest and find potential training participants.

Written by Anita Āboliņa, Communication manager at Vidzeme Planning Region


Climate change mitigation and adaptation plans in Estonia

A national grant for climate change mitigation and adaptation plans in Estonia was announced in 2021. By the end of 2021, most municipalities or associations of municipalities (plans for the county) got granted to find their partners and started preparing their plans. Altogether ten planes got granted, nine applicants received a full grant and one a partial grant. Another nine applicants did not receive funding.

According to former Minister of the Environment Tõnis Mölder, climate and energy plans are good directions to follow in order to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 as a result of joint efforts. "Thanks to climate plans, local governments can make long-term strategic decisions to preserve and improve the living environment," said Mölder.

National energy plans do not have clearly defined energy or CO2 emissions goals, plans should help to identify areas and necessary developments related to climate change adaptation and mitigation in a specific area. It is eligible to develop separate local, regional, or county-level climate and energy plans or involve climate and energy topics in local-level development documents or the county’s development strategy. The framework of plans leads municipalities to cover a variety of areas:

  • health, social welfare, and rescue capacity;
  • land use and planning;
  • natural environment;
  • economy, including green public procurements and circular economy;
  • bioeconomy;
  • community, awareness, and cooperation;
  • infrastructure and buildings;
  • energy and security of supply.

And out of the list of all suggested indicators, the total reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is the first one, but this is up to the municipality to select indicators or goals.

There were 5 separate local governments and 5 associations of municipalities that were granted.  AS national plans should be completed by the end of 2022, there should be in addition to 5 Covenant of Mayor’s (CoM) SEAPs or SECAPs signatories and another 3-4 energy and climate plans made by CoM’s guidelines all together about 20 Energy and climate plans in Estonian local or regional level. With national climate change mitigation and adaptation plans in making there will be 7 out of 15 countries fully covered with energy and climate plans plus separate municipalities plans, most of the population is covered as in addition to 7 counties two biggest cities, Tallinn and Tartu, already have CoM’s plans.

After completion of climate change mitigation and adaptation plans municipalities can apply for additional funds under the programme climate change mitigation and adaptation where over 7 million euros will be shared for implementation.


Hydrogen powered public transport

One of the energy sectors that are changed the most, due to the need of decreasing CO2 emission, is mobility.  Poland is one of the leaders in  producing and exporting electric buses in European Union with 707 buses roaming the streets of the country in 2022. The next natural step in mobility improvement  is introducing hydrogen powered buses.

The Polish company PKN Orlen has recently opened first mobile hydrogen tanking station in Poland. The station was built in Cracow to fuel hydrogen powered public transport. Currently tested bus is Solaris Urbino 12 hydrogen.  Equipped in 70kW hydrogen fuel cell and 5 tanks of the complete capacity of 35 kg of hydrogen, the bus can drive up to 350 km without being refueled.

Other cities are not falling behind Cracow. Between 22nd and 23rd of June 2022, Nesobus, that was manufactured in Poland, was being tested in Gdynia. The same bus model was tested between 27th of June and 1st of July in Wrocław. In 2023 Solaris bus is going to take over Lublin.
Municipal Transport Authority in Lublin has just settled a tender to buy a new hydrogen bus.  In Rybnik, there are plans to buy 20 hydrogen powered buses, that are going to start driving in the 2nd quarter of 2023. What is more, in the 1st quarter of 2023 new hydrogen tanking station is going to be built in that city.

However, that is not the only mobile hydrogen tanking station that is going to come into being in 2023. PKN Orlen’s plans for hydrogen technologies in Poland are extensive. The concern plans to build 2 more stations, one in Poznań and another one in Katowice, in the next year.  More public stations, in Wałbrzych, Piła and Włocławek, are currently being negotiated. Moreover, company plans to build 10 hydrogen hubs until 2030 in Poland and abroad.

The development of hydrogen powered transport in Poland is rapid. Not long ago we had no hydrogen powered buses or any transport of that sort. Now, not only do we have them, but soon we will see hydrogen powered trains and maybe even cars on the roads.

Source: Łukasz Bera for Solaris Bus & Coach S.A. - Solaris Archive

EU energy diversification strategies due to the crisis in Ukraine

While the dependence on a single exporter has long been seen as problematic, the war in Ukraine has further raised the urgency of diversifying energy sources and adding renewables to the domestic energy mix.  Statistics reveal that the EU’s dependence on energy imports has gone up in the last few years since domestic production of coal, gas, oil and nuclear energy has declined. For instance, in 2020, the EU imported 57.5% of its energy, with numbers reaching 97.6% for Malta and 10.5 % for Estonia.[1]

The fact that Russia is the largest exporter of oil, natural gas and coal to the EU also confers it with substantial political and economic leverage. As a consequence, the EU has presented the REPowerEU Plan, which aims to both reduce the EU’s dependence on Russia and equally push forward the green transition. The plan concretely looks at energy savings, diversification of energy supplies and increased use of renewables.  It also contains a Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), which will be tasked with “supporting coordinated planning and financing of cross-border and national infrastructure as well as energy projects and reforms”.[2]

In addition, the EU has been seeking to diversify its supplies by establishing commercial ties with new partners. In this context, it has shifted to greater LNG imports and deliveries via gas pipelines. This has not always happened without critique since the EU has started negotiations with historically problematic interlocutors such as Venezuela.[3]  In order to strengthen its negotiation position and increase efficiency, it has also set up the EU Energy Platform to pool demand, optimize infrastructure use while equally creating a space to purchase renewable hydrogen. [4]

Coupled with the REPowerEU Plan, the Commission has also adopted the EU External Energy Strategy, which focuses on energy diversification and establishing long-term partnerships with suppliers. A special focus will lie on hydrogen and green technologies.  At the same time, hydrogen corridors are to be developed in the Mediterranean and in North Sea. Cooperation with Ukraine is to be strengthened through stronger electricity and renewable hydrogen trade while the energy system is to be rebuilt under the REPowerUkraine initiative.

Moreover, the Commission strives to increase the 2030 renewables target from 40% to 45%, which should also trigger other initiatives such as:

  • an EU Solar Strategy, aiming at doubling solar photovoltaic capacity by 2025
  • a Solar Rooftop Initiative, which will make it obligatory to install solar panels on new public and commercial buildings.
  • Doubling the use of heat pumps as well as measures to integrate geothermal and solar thermal energy into district and communal heating systems.
  • Reaching domestic production of 10 million tonnes of domestic renewable hydrogen by 2030

The REPowerEU objectives are estimated to require an additional investment of €210 billion between now and 2027. However, this investment is believed to result in annual savings of almost €100 billion per year.[5] At the same time, it is supposed to ensure the EU’s independence in terms of energy supplies and equally pave the way for a greener future. No doubt, the decision to shift away from Russia and to focus more on domestic production as well as a broader selection of partners will have geopolitical implications and reshape the EU’s political ties with different energy exporters around the world.

[1] Russia’s war on Ukraine: Implications for EU energy supply | Epthinktank | European Parliament

[2] REPowerEU (europa.eu)

[3] Öl und Gas aus Katar, USA, Kanada, Venezuela: Die Gewinner der Energiekrise seit dem Ukraine-Krieg - manager magazin (manager-magazin.de)

[4] REPowerEU (europa.eu)

[5] REPowerEU (europa.eu)

Heating the streets with wet firewood…

A pioneering new online poll has been commissioned by WWF Hungary to learn about how people use firewood to heat their homes in the country. The study has been financed by the LIFE BIO-BALANCE project that focuses on sustainable biomass use in the Central-Eastern European countries. The survey, which was carried out on a carefully selected 500-person sample to represent the demographics of the population, confirms that wood heating in Hungary is largely inefficient and polluting. Despite the catastrophic energy efficiency of residential buildings and the widespread tendency to burn wet firewood and waste, the motivation of respondents to change the situation seems to be depressingly low.

More than half of the people who burn wood live in homes that are older than fifty years. Less than half of the residential buildings are retrofitted with facade heat insulation, and the ones that do, are largely insufficient, only 7% of which are thicker than 10 centimeters. Only a quarter of the buildings have additional roof thermal insulation, while energy-saving doors and windows can be found in only half of the apartments. It is estimated that with these conditions, at least two-thirds of the energy used for heating is wasted compared to the current energy efficiency standards for new homes.

The situation is devastating in terms of firewood use habits as well. More than half of the respondents admitted burning wet firewood in the previous heating season. It is revealing that while they think an average of nine months drying time would be necessary, they can only dry the wood for an average of four and a half months. According to experts, to reach a maximum moisture content of 20%, which is considered desirable, would actually take more than a year in a well-ventilated, rain-protected storage. A third of the respondents cannot even buy all their wood in advance, and are only able to purchase some of it after the heating season starts. Obviously, in their case, we can’t talk about properly dry firewood at all, since traders usually sell wet wood.

Regarding how the wood is burned, nearly half of the respondents, 45% use it in a central heating boiler, while the rest employ some kind of individual heater for this purpose. Of the latter, unfortunately, very low-efficiency iron stoves are quite common; a quarter of the respondents have such an appliance in their homes. 21% use a tiled stove for heating, and every tenth wood-burning household has at least one open fireplace. 

60% of respondents heat with gas or electricity in addition to wood, thus only a minority heats exclusively with wood. 31% use a gas boiler and 16% use a gas convector to satisfy the additional heat demand, while 13% use an electric heater for this.

Some questions were directed towards assessing people's willingness to invest in energy efficiency renovations. Unfortunately, the resulting answers won’t make us feel better. Despite the fact that many households practically heat the street, only 28% plan to invest into any type of thermal insulation. Another 20% would be willing to do so, but feel they have no money for it. Slightly more, 31%, plan to upgrade their current heating system, which typically means installing or upgrading the central heating system. Only 22% are thinking of switching to another type of energy to replace firewood. It is somewhat encouraging though, that a visible minority is already thinking about turning to heat pumps (~3%) or solar energy (about 8%).

The best part is that only 31% of wood burners consider air pollution a significant problem. All the while an estimated 14,000 Hungarians die due to air quality and the damage to the economy amounts to more than three billion euros a year.

Since the survey was completed just days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the impact of the war is clearly not visible in the results. We can hope that many people have since re-evaluated their views on energy efficiency…

What is city storage and why do we need it?

Energy storage has the potential of substantially mitigating climate change since it allows for more efficient energy usage. However, to date, most energy being produced is not being stored. In fact, only 3% of power capacity is being placed in storage, which means that a lot of energy is being lost.[1]  In fact, only 3-4% of electricity being generated by utilities is being stored.

At the same time, the Member States of the European Union have committed to the Paris Agreement, which means that the European energy system will have to head in the direction of carbon neutrality.  What role does energy storage play in this? Carbon neutrality strongly depends on the use of renewables. These however are variable, which means that the output of solar and wind power is dependent on the time, the season and the weather. Storage is needed to bridge the gap between energy production and energy consumption. [2]

What kind of storage solutions exist? There are five main types of energy storage, which can be summarized as:

  • Pumped Hydro Storage: this is one of the oldest and most widely used electricity storage technologies. This approach relies on pumping water uphill to a reservoir. Then, as soon as electricity is needed, the water is released from the reservoir to start a turbine and a generator.
  • Thermal Energy Storage: This is energy storage in the form of heat. A simple way of achieving this is by running an electric hot water boiler when electricity is abundant and using the hot water at a later point in time. This can also be applied to heating, refrigeration and air conditioning systems.
  • Batteries: These can include the batteries of electric vehicles, home storage devices, battery storage attached to renewable energy plants, and grid-scale batteries. The services batteries can provide include: frequency control, temporal shift of consumption, and flattening of demand peaks. In addition, they can serve as local buffers to store variable renewable energy close to the source of production for later local use or be injected into the grid during times of high demand and high prices.
  • Compressed Air Energy Storage: This is a technical approach, which mechanically converts gaseous air. In times of excess electricity, a reversible motor/generator unit is utilized to inject air into a storage vessel and energy is stored in the form of high-pressure air. Later, when electricity is required, the stored compressed air is released and heated. Then, when the compressed air is released, its energy is captured by turbines.
  • Gas and liquid storage: This is one of the simplest and most efficient technologies and allows for gas (mainly methane) or liquids to be compressed or absorbed in porous material under low pressure.

In addition to promoting carbon neutrality, storage also allows for high levels of energy security by facilitating the use of locally produced energy. For your average citizen, energy storage also means more control over the costs and the origin of the energy being consumed. At the same time, energy storage still battles with one substantial barrier: relatively high costs. For energy storage solutions to become more attractive, greater awareness about their benefits needs to be spread in society as well as greater investments in new technologies to lower upfront costs.[3]

[1] Beyond the Tipping Point: Future Energy Storage - Urban Insight (swecourbaninsight.com)

[2] https://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/document/EPRS_BRI(2019)637962

[3] Beyond the Tipping Point: Future Energy Storage - Urban Insight (swecourbaninsight.com)

Polish electric buses the most exported in EU

The overall trend for electromobility has become more and more important due to the environmental awareness, energy transfer towards Renewable Energy Sources (RES) and multiple subsidies programs. According to Bloomberg NEF in 2025 the worldwide share of electric buses will reach 47%.

In 2021, Poland was first in European Union in producing and exporting electric buses. Right after was Belgium (with 36% shares) and far, far after Czech Republic (7%), Germany (4%) and the Netherlands (2%). It took Poland only 4 years to grow from 10% to 46% of the European electric buses market. This rapid  expansion is caused by the fact that during 2020 and the worldwide pandemic the conventional car sales market was decreasing and at the same time electromobility market was significantly growing, with electric buses sales as well.

According to the Polish Department of Electromobility Development (pol. Polska Izba Rozwoju Elektromobilności) in 2022, 707 electric buses have been riding through the Polish streets. With Warsaw and its 162 electric buses, Cracow (78) and Poznan (59) heading in this race from all of the Polish cities. What is more, this organization predicts that the number of electric buses will reach 1350 till 2024.

There are three Polish electric buses producers that are stepping up to the mark of such a challenge. These producers are: Solaris Urbino Electric in Bolechowo - which is the biggest one, Volvo 7900 Electric in Wrocław and MAN Lion’s City E in Starachowice. Not less important matter are – electric buses charging stations. In Poland, there are currently 520 charging stations with over 70 MW of power located in 50 cities

Next step for electromobility market is an energy source diversification which adds to the mix hydrogen energy. Solaris has already got multiple orders for buses fueled with H2. Unfortunately, for this moment there is no an open-access hydrogen station in Poland, only the private ones. Quite recently Polish oil refiner and petrol retailer PKN Orlen has opened their first mobile hydrogen station in Poland in Cracow. The newly opened  mobile station is only dedicated for the Cracow public transport buses and carries 400 kg of H2 which power 11 vehicles.

Picture 1. https://www.ztm.waw.pl/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/autobus-linii-128.jpg


What is sector coupling and what are its benefits?

Sector coupling is increasingly being used as a buzz word, which promises to decarbonise our economies and help the European Union meet its international climate targets. At the same time, it is deemed to have the potential of ensuring our energy security while also making it possible to keep energy prices stable.[1] Given the geopolitical instability Europe is facing at the moment, interest in renewable energy sources and new energy system approaches such as sector coupling are quickly growing in popularity.

But what is sector coupling? There is still some ambiguity regarding the term with both narrow and holistic definitions of the concept being applied.[2] While there is some diversity across the spectrum, the distinction generally lies between sector coupling being viewed as end-use or as cross-vector integration.  This difference has a substantial impact on the technologies needed for sector coupling to be achieved and also on the extent of change to be undertaken on the energy system.

End-use sector coupling involves the electrification of energy demand while reinforcing the interaction between electricity supply and end-use. An example of this would be using electricity generated from renewable energy sources (such as solar power) to run electric vehicles. In addition to reducing CO2 emissions, this approach has the added benefit that electric devices also tend to be more efficient than fossil fuel-based alternatives. At the same time, one of the biggest hurdles of the past – namely the high cost of generating electricity from renewable sources – is also largely being overcome due to immense price hikes for conventional electricity sources.

Cross-vector coupling refers to the integrated use of different energy infrastructures and vectors, in particular electricity, heat and gas.[3] This can either be done on the supply side, e.g., through conversion of (surplus) electricity to hydrogen, or at the demand side, by using residual heat from power generation or industrial processes for district heating for instance. Cross- vector is likely to provide the energy system with increased flexibility to cope with fluctuations in energy demand and renewable energy supply. At the same time, it is also associated with costly investments and requires a fundamental change to our energy system.

While sector coupling has the potential of revolutionising our economies, it still has to overcome one major challenge: renewable sources such as wind and solar energy are rather unpredictable and renewable energy is not always available when needed. How can one rely on solar panels to charge one’s car on a rainy winter day? The answer to this question lies in the use of storage solutions. By using batteries or other storage methods, renewable energy sources can be integrated into our energy systems and ensure steady consumption throughout the year.  Energy storage is therefore a key puzzle piece in the larger sector coupling puzzle. This topic will be explored in August’s blog on storage solutions.

[1] Sector coupling: how can it be enhanced in the EU to foster grid stability and decarbonise? (europa.eu)

[2] The sector coupling concept: A critical review (tuwien.ac.at)

[3] Sector coupling: how can it be enhanced in the EU to foster grid stability and decarbonise? (europa.eu)

CEESEU is the Regional Collaboration of the year!

We are happy to announce that the project CEESEU won the Regional Collaboration of the year as part of the Emerging Europe Awards 2022 in the category of Partnership.

Emerging Europe is a growth hub whose mission is to foster sustainable development in the emerging Europe region and initiate debate about its future. Through their expertise, global reach, strong local footprint, and vast network, Emerging Europe is a trusted partner for organisations from or with a stake in the emerging Europe region. Headquartered in London, with a team spread across emerging Europe, their aim is to connect the region and the world — raising awareness of the region’s investment, trade, cultural and tourism potential and bringing together a global, like-minded community.
The Emerging Europe Awards showcase the best of emerging Europe and has awarded dozens of unique initiatives, organisations and individuals, including global leaders who have contributed to the region’s success.

CEESEU was nominated and shortlisted among the top three in the Regional Collaboration Initiative of the Year category. The final decision was made by the 2022 jury panel and the winners was announced at the Future of Emerging Europe Summit & Awards on June 23, in Brussels.

The Regional Collaboration category is open to organisations operating in emerging Europe which implemented successful projects and initiatives aiming at creating a shared agenda on a local, national, regional and global level, sharing knowledge, experience and best practice, smart city development and encouraging collaboration with international organisations and with other parts of the world.

Find the full list of winners here.